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Sun Devil Giving Day fuels ASU's charter values

Annual day of giving on March 21 shines spotlight on ASU's Charter Fund


Six members of the ASU community sit around a desk, smiling and sharing conversation.

The ASU Charter Fund gives ASU the resources to embrace innovation and technology that fuel student and faculty success. ASU photo

March 15, 2024

When Jacquelyn Shugarts was an undergraduate biological sciences major, she made time to volunteer in the Banner Ironwood Medical Center neonatal intensive care unit.

She would stuff “mommy bags” with diapers, underwear, soap and wipes for new moms or keep the NICU stocked for the nurses.

“The NICU can be very stressful for nurses, and I tried to relieve stress any way I could,” she said.

Shugarts was able to volunteer as a busy undergraduate, thanks to a scholarship for online students.

“That volunteer opportunity in the NICU allowed me to apply many concepts I learned in classes I took at ASU,” she said.

Shugarts’ story exemplifies how philanthropic support makes a meaningful difference in people’s lives at Arizona State University and in the communities we serve. 

Get involved

There are many ways to participate in Sun Devil Giving Day:

• Donate to an initiative you care about in any area of ASU at asufoundation.org.

• Serve as a Sun Devil Giving Day Ambassador by reaching out to family and friends.

• Join the conversation and spread the word on social media with #SunDevilGiving.

• Follow ASU Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

• Vote, if you are a student, to give to a cause you care about through Sun Devil Rewards on the ASU Mobile App.

• Double your impact by giving to a fund that is being matched.

On Sun Devil Giving Day, March 21, the ASU community will have the opportunity to fuel the spirit of giving that enables ASU students, faculty and staff to thrive. 

For more than a decade, Sun Devil Giving Day has inspired university supporters to connect with their values and giving passions at ASU. Donors have been able to choose from myriad funds that benefit their ASU cause or program of choice.

This year, the ASU Foundation will also shine a spotlight on the ASU Charter Fund, which gives ASU the resources to embrace innovation and technology that fuel student and faculty success.

“ASU is a place where you can advance your values, ideals and passions,” said Bill Kavan, vice president for engagement and outreach at the ASU Foundation. “Sun Devil Giving Day is a great way to bring those values to life through generosity to a cherished cause.” 

“Sun Devil Giving Day may last for 24 hours, but its impact helps ASU students and faculty thrive all year long,” Kavan said. “It’s like oxygen to our university values and mission.”

Freedom to do 'essential work'

Kevin Wright, director of ASU’s Center for Correctional Solutions, said having a targeted day where the entire Sun Devil community is focused on giving “has been very meaningful to us.”

Wright oversees programs designed to disrupt the cycle of incarceration and recidivism in Arizona’s prison system. The center’s {Ink}arcerated art show features artwork created by men and women who are incarcerated, giving an underserved population the means to express themselves and give back to the community.

Proceeds from the show benefit youth organizations in the Valley. Last year, it helped raise $35,000 to fund an endowed scholarship at ASU for formerly incarcerated individuals.

The center's Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is a semester-long course in which ASU students learn alongside those within the correctional system, seeking to understand each other’s perspectives.

Sun Devil Giving Day gifts have enabled the center to purchase supplies for both programs.

“One of the things that is so important about Sun Devil Giving Day philanthropy is it takes the need to raise money out of our hands and frees us up to do the essential work,” he said.

It also creates a community of people who identify with and appreciate the center’s work.

“Having support from people who say, ‘We love what you do and how you do it, we want to be part of your work,’ that means everything to us,” said Wright, an associate professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

And this kind of support does more than benefit programs — it makes a true difference in the life of individuals. 

For example, it's making a difference to Andrew LoBiondo, who spent a decade working in the food service industry and returned to college in his late 20s. His scholarship is helping him pursue a degree in food and nutrition entrepreneurship at the College of Health Solutions.

LoBiondo said he faces many challenges with a 7-month-old son at home and as an executive chef at a new company. His scholarship helps him dedicate as much time as possible to his studies.

“I know the importance of earning my degree in regard to my family’s future,” he said. “I need to set an example for my son and provide him with a life my parents could not give me when I was a child.”

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