Kemper Hall at UC Davis

Blog: Invest in Aggie Engineers on Give Day

Minerva C. Olaya
Minerva C. Olaya

As UC Davis biomedical engineering alumna of the class of 2020 and the current chair of the Graduates of the Last Decade, or GOLD, Board Philanthropic Impact Committee, I'm very excited about Give Day on April 19-20. This annual event is an opportunity for Aggie Engineers to come together as a college community and show our collective support for the future of engineering education.

This year, Give Day holds a particularly special meaning for me. Having been a beneficiary of College of Engineering philanthropy myself — from participating in the Leadership in Engineering Advancement, Diversity and Retention, or LEADR, program and learning machining in the Diane Bryant Engineering Student Design Center to receiving invaluable tutoring through the Chevron Tutoring Center — I've witnessed firsthand the transformative power of giving. Philanthropy truly fuels the amazing experiences that shape our students into the next generation of engineering leaders.

On Give Day, I encourage all Aggie Engineers — alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends — to consider making a gift to an area on campus that holds the most meaning for them. Whether it's supporting student scholarships, cutting-edge research or innovative teaching initiatives, contributions will directly impact the lives and future success of our students.

The most important part of Give Day is participation! Despite having the smallest alumni population of all the colleges, the College of Engineering has maintained a three-year winning streak in the Battle of the Colleges. It's a testament to the incredible spirit and generosity of our community. Together, we've proven that even a smaller group can achieve extraordinary things when united by a common passion for engineering excellence.

No donation is too small. Each and every gift counts towards unlocking specific challenges within the college's departments and programs. Your contribution, combined with the collective effort of our college community, can make a significant difference in shaping the future of this remarkable institution.

This Give Day, I will be making my own contribution in honor of Tanya Culliver-Whitlow, who passed away on May 9, 2021. Tanya was a pillar of our college community. She designed, developed and directed the college's LEADR program, which had a profound impact on my own journey at UC Davis. The LEADR program, which aims to recruit, retain and graduate diverse student populations from the College of Engineering, played a significant role in my success. I owe a great deal to Tanya and her vision.

By giving back on Give Day, I am able to honor Tanya's legacy and ensure the LEADR program continues to empower future generations of engineers.

Thank you for considering a gift to the College of Engineering on Give Day. Together, we can continue to foster a vibrant and inspiring environment where future generations of engineers can thrive. 

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