search button
newscenter logo
Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

New student donors receive a lanyard and an Aztec Proud T-shirt. New student donors receive a lanyard and an Aztec Proud T-shirt.

Aztec Proud Sets Record

More than 2,400 new students donated to the student philanthropy initiative this summer.
By Tobin Vaughn

“I help students every single day, so that is definitely something I am passionate about.”

Aztec Proud, San Diego State University’s student philanthropy program, set a record this summer for new student donations, with 2,427 incoming SDSU students contributing. These contributions go into endowments designed to generate scholarship funding in perpetuity. The result was an increase of 200 student donors over the summer of 2016.

Between July 13 and Aug. 29, new students contributed $26,270 to the program run by SDSU Alumni Engagement. Most of these donations came from incoming freshmen helping to build reserves and endowments for student scholarships through the Class of 2021 Legacy Program.

As gifts, students who donated received a lanyard and a “San Diego State Aztec Proud” T-shirt. Throughout the academic year, the student donors will receive school supplies and invitations to special stewardship and career development events.

The Aztec Proud app notifies student donors about giveaways and other opportunities—like scholarship application deadlines—that will enhance their student experience. During the first week of classes, the students were notified about an exclusive school supplies giveaway near Love Library.

“Something I am passionate about”

Julian West is an education doctoral student from Bakersfield who hopes to one day become a community college president. The Bakersfield College educational advisor and part-time instructor at California State University, Bakersfield said he joined Aztec Proud because he has seen first-hand the need many students have for financial assistance to reach their educational goals.

"It's hard (for students), especially at the community colleges,” he said. “These days, students can get stuck there for six or seven years (working and going to school).”  

West admitted that he was initially attracted to Aztec Proud by the T-shirt, but once he learned more about the scholarship endowment, he was hooked.

“I help students every single day, so that is definitely something I am passionate about."

Alumni staff partnered with the SDSU Bookstore staff to solicit and process donations. SDSU Director of Development Technology Tammy Blackburn (’94, ’01) said the partnership is one of the reasons Aztec Proud was able to attract more donors to the program.

“Our partnership with the SDSU Bookstore is essential to our continued success,” Blackburn said. “Their staff understands the importance of this program on campus and their energy and dedication definitely helped boost our numbers this year.”

Last year, Aztec Proud was able to offer scholarships to seven students. Blackburn said the program is expected to generate even more in the coming year.