Sillerman Center Announces Winner of 2013 Generous U Competition

April 30, 2013

Waltham, MA — The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University announced today that Kansas State University has taken top prize at its national student philanthropy competition, Generous U. Kansas State won $5,000 for its student philanthropy program, K-State Proud.

Established in 2009 as an annual contest, Generous U recognizes university students who grow philanthropy and philanthropic values on their campuses. The Kansas State student group beat dozens of other entries for a philanthropy program that gives grants to students at risk of dropping out for financial reasons.

Kansas State was selected from a pool of 48 student entries nationwide — up from 21 last year. Three runners-up, the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Oklahoma, were awarded $1,000 each. Each submission required an essay and a companion video explaining the philanthropic program.

“The Generous U contest taps into the basic human impulse to give and rewards students able to organize and broaden on-campus philanthropy,” said Claudia Jacobs, who spearheads the contest at the Sillerman Center, which is based at Brandeis’ Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

The Kansas State philanthropy program started in 2006. Over the last seven years, the program has raised $650,000, much of it from student donations. With this money, the Kansas State Student Foundation allocates “opportunity awards” to students who have exhausted all other forms of financial assistance, to complete their education.

Philanthropists, business people, university educators, and undergraduate and graduate students reviewed the video and essay submissions, ranking each on innovation, creativity, sustainability and its promise to broaden philanthropy among students. Student clubs and groups use the cash awards to strengthen their campus organizations and expand their charitable work.

The Sillerman Center was founded and endowed by Robert ’69 and Laura Sillerman in 2008. Its mission is to strengthen social justice philanthropy while broadening the process so that all kinds of people — young and old, rich and poor — participate in giving. Based at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, the Center engages in research, education, leadership development and improving the practice of philanthropy. The Center sponsors two popular courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels where students act as grant makers and learn how to distribute thousands of dollars to local nonprofits.