Graduating to the Challenge

new alumni of uwaterloo sit with King WarriorYoung alumni pose with King Warrior and learn about the Grad Challenge

Have you ever benefited from philanthropy? If you went to the University of Waterloo, the answer is yes. I know, I know, some of you are saying that you paid tuition in return for your education. I used to think that way too until I took a part-time job at the University of Waterloo Call Centre when I was a student.

In reality, tuition only covers approximately 1/3 of the cost of our post-secondary education. The rest is covered by government funding and private donations. A huge portion of these donations come from Waterloo alumni. I recall an American alumnus who told me he paid 20 per cent of what he would have paid some American universities to attend Waterloo and received the same, if not better, world-class education. This baffled me and inspired me to do what I could to give back.

salman jivani profile pictureThat’s where the Grad Class Challenge came into play. The Grad Class Challenge has been a Waterloo tradition for more than 20 years. New grads across campus donated $20.11 (our graduating year) toward a faculty or fund of their choice. $20.11 doesn’t sound like much on its own but combined with hundreds of us donating it was a great way to leave a lasting legacy at uWaterloo. Plus, I actually figured out that it amounted to less than $2 for every month of my education.

Giving to a cause you’re passionate about feels great! Over the next few months, you’ll see blogs by other alumni about their philanthropic passions and what inspires them to give. I hope you’ll find them inspiring!

Salman Jivani

BA 2011

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