Letter: The Importance of Giving

To the Editor:

As Pomona College prepares to participate in “Tuition Free Day” on March 21, I’ve been reflecting on why I give to Pomona. As a recent alum, I find myself passionate about a number of causes, all worthy of support. I care deeply about grassroots women’s organizations, and help fundraise to increase the amount of money going to women’s groups. I have a number of friends working for progressive causes that need funding, and which I’m honored to support. And since moving to New York, I believe in finding high-impact organizations within this new city I call home that help combat poverty and homelessness.

But amongst all these important causes, I’m always sure to include Pomona as part of my philanthropic budget. While I was fortunate enough to have a family that could pay my full tuition, those expenses only accounted for two-thirds of what Pomona invested in me.

College is about more than earning a degree or adding a line to your resume. The most influential moments of my college experience were debating the nature of choice in Professors Brown and Green’s “Freedom, Markets, and Well-Being” seminar, brunches at Frank that I shared with my sponsor group and cheering for the men’s basketball team when they won the SCIAC championship against CMS the same night as Smiley 80s. I was surprised to learn that none of these experiences were fully covered by my tuition. Alumni, parents, faculty, students and friends of the College ensure that the full experience is paid for.

Now that I’ve graduated, I give back to Pomona. I can’t give much—after all, I’m only 25—but every month I set aside the cost of a few trips to Starbucks for Pomona’s Annual Fund. I trust Pomona is a place where you can help make the world a better place by supporting the Sagehens who come after you, which is why I choose to invest in all of you. 

Just as importantly, I do my best to invest my time and energy in Pomona, the same way that Pomona professors and staff invested in my education and personal growth.

Giving back doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. But it needs to happen if we want future Pomona students to receive the same quality of experience that we’ve had.

—Jenn Wilcox

Class of 2008

Young Alumni Trustee

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