This holiday season, students from The University of Texas at Austin are giving back in a big way. Freshman enrolled in the “Philanthropy: The Power of Giving” signature course capped off their semester by giving away $100,000 to five charitable organizations at a check presentation ceremony on Monday, Dec. 14.

The recipients include A Glimmer of Hope, the Harpswell Foundation, Austin Children’s Shelter,Against Malaria Foundation, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

As part of the freshman signature course,  students spent the fall semester evaluating charitable programs and analyzing how to help them succeed with a $100,000 gift provided by an anonymous foundation.

Pamela Paxton, professor of sociology and instructor of the course, said the class gave her students the unique ability to make a big  difference — from combating malaria and childhood cancer, to protecting children in need, to empowering women leaders in developing countries.

The course, offered in the School of Undergraduate Studies, also covered the history and current state of American giving and volunteering, as well as the causes and consequences of philanthropy.

“This class has the potential to change their lives,” Paxton says. “It helps students think about philanthropy at an early age. And they have the opportunity through this class to give a substantial amount of money to a good cause.”

For more about Paxton’s philanthropy research, read this Life & Letters story.


Photos provided by Kristin Tommey,  School of Undergraduate Studies



December 20, 2012

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