Southeastern Foundation hands out Giving Day fundraiser awards


File Photo/The Lion's Roar

Southeastern Giving Day was held on Oct. 21. Groups that received the most money or had the highest number of donors received an extra prize from the Southeastern Foundation.

After the Giving Day 2020 competition concluded, the Southeastern Foundation awarded departments and organizations with financial awards for reaching fundraising thresholds.

An award of $1,000 for Overall Largest Number of Donors was given to the sorority Alpha Sigma Tau after they received a total of 92 donors for their fundraiser.

Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station received $1,000 for Overall Largest Amount of Dollars Raised. Their fundraiser received a total of $12,675.

Lions Connected received a $500 award for College Initiative with the Most Dollars Raised after receiving $4,500.

Gerlinde Beckers, Ph.D., Lions Connected director, shared her reaction to the result of the fundraiser.

“I am extremely pleased with the Giving Day fundraiser,” said Beckers. “We never expected to raise as much money as we raised.”

Beckers was also surprised to receive the initiative award from the Southeastern Foundation.

“We were not expecting to win for the most money raised in a college initiative, so we were very thankful to receive the additional $500 from the Southeastern Foundation,” shared Beckers. “$500 will pay for two weeks of mentoring for one of our Lions Connected students.”

According to Beckers, the money raised from the fundraiser will go towards the cost of the program’s peer mentors. She explained that peer mentors are essential to the program.

“Peer Mentors are a huge part of Lions Connected, and our Giving Day initiative was to help support the cost of our peer mentors,” said Beckers. “Peer mentors are responsible for 80% of the contact time with our Lions Connected students. They help our students navigate the complexities of our campus and college life. Lions Connected mentors are dedicated undergraduate student workers that carry the extra responsibility of ensuring our Lions Connected students are safely inside their personal zones of challenge. Without peer mentors, the Lions Connected program simply cannot function.”

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences earned the $500 award for the College Initiative with the Most Donors. The college’s Dance Performance Project received funds from a total of 53 donors.

Jeffrey Wright, Ph.D., Music and Performing Arts Department Head, was thrilled to see the amount of support for the fundraiser.

“It’s exciting to see that during these unprecedented times, people still see the power and importance of higher education and recognize the great work that is going on here at Southeastern,” said Wright.

Wright was also excited to see the number of donors that contributed to the Dance Performance Project.

“Although dance is a relatively small academic unit on campus, our students and faculty are passionate about their craft and are committed to bringing high-quality dance performances to the Hammond community,” shared Wright. “The fantastic support we received for dance lets us know that we are succeeding in both our educational and outreach goals.”

He also detailed how the money raised will be used.

“The money raised for the Dance Performance Project will help us to continue to put on the high-quality performances our Music and Performing Arts Department is known for,” explained Wright. “These funds will help us cover the cost of costumes and sets for dance performances and will also help our students to fund travel to national dance conferences like the American College Dance Association.”

Donations can still be made at