Over the past fiscal year, they invested in DMU’s academic programs, helped provide learning resources and services to students, supported outstanding faculty and facilities, and they help make the University’s exceptional quality and reputation possible. At a reception in Des Moines on Dec. 3, DMU saluted the 309 members of the President’s Society, the donors of annual gifts of $1,000 or more, and the 62 members of the Founders Society, those who have given $100,000 or more in lifetime gifts.
“As members of the President’s Society, you have shown your passion for our success by being the lead contributors to the University,” DMU President Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D., said to reception attendees. “Gifts from our proudest donors, like all of you, set the pace for giving and inspire and motivate others to follow your example.”
President’s and Founders Society members have a real and tangible impact on the University and its students. They support DMU’s eight degree programs, which prepare students to exceed the average national board exam scores of their peers at other institutions, achieve high residency placement and become great health care professionals. These donors support accomplishments by the University, such as being named a 2016 Great College to Work For by the Chronicle of Higher Education and a Top Iowa Workplace by the Des Moines Register.
Equally important, leadership donors make a transformative difference to DMU students. At the reception, first-year physical therapy student, Chaston Pola, shared the challenges he faced in his journey from West Jordan, UT, to DMU. The loss of his grandmother to cancer shortly before he arrived on campus, the first time he would be living far away from family, caused him to question “whether Des Moines would be the right place for me and even whether physical therapy was the right career choice.”
Then he and his clinical classmates received their white coats, which are provided by donors to the University. “This gift reaffirmed the reason why I am here chasing my dream of being a physical therapist,” he said at the reception. “It wasn’t just that I was given a nice white coat that I didn’t have to pay for, even though any little bit a student can save is monumental. The donation showed that someone else has confidence in me and is willing to invest in my success.
“As the white coat hangs in my closet in the mornings, and as I wear it tonight, it is a sign of who I seek to be,” he added. “I want to help people and to be an inspiration to those around me. I want to fulfill the mission of DMU and live up to its core values.”
Pola concluded his comments by thanking his family; his wife, Ashlee; and DMU’s leadership donors: “Without you, I can guarantee I would not be here tonight to speak with you, nor would I be on the path to become a highly competent, highly caring doctor of physical therapy.”
Members of DMU’s President’s and Founders Societies play a key role in the continued success of the University and its students. To learn more about the societies and the powerful impact you can have, visit the DMU website or call 515-271-1387.