MSUM Faculty Support Students on Giving Hearts Day

Thanks to the generosity of Giving Hearts Day 2021 donors, the MSUM Foundation raised $52,852 to support students.

This Giving Hearts Day, MSUM’s faculty are giving back to students outside the classroom in a remarkable way. MSUM faculty members and the Inter-Faculty Organization (IFO) have gifted the majority of $6,000 in matching funds to the Student Emergency Assistance Fund for Giving Hearts Day on February 11. 

MSUM’s Student Emergency Assistance Fund has been in place since 2014. Students in need can apply for grants of up to $500 to help cover unexpected expenses, such as accidents, family illness, transportation issues, or loss of income due to COVID-19. 

In an appeal to facultyfaculty leaders Matt Craig, Stacy Voeller and Kris Vossler explain that “more students than normal are encountering financial difficulties, which for some means an inability to register [for courses]. These grants can make the difference for some students continuing their education or stopping out.” 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, most students were finding ways to meet their financial obligations, says Kara Gravely-Stack, MSUM Dean of Students. Now, students working in the service industry have been faced with fewer shifts or no job altogether. Others, who relied on family for financial support when faced with unforeseen challenges, are finding themselves without a safety net to fall back on. 

Typically, 30 to 40 students apply for assistance from the fund each year. MSUM’s CARE Team—which administers the fund—has received 515 requests and dispersed a total of $80,415 in Student Emergency Assistance Fund grants since March 2020. 

“For some of these students, a grant of $500 means they can stay enrolled at MSUM, they can purchase groceries for the month, and they can keep the lights and Wi-Fi on,” Gravley-Stack said. “Contributions to the Student Emergency Assistance Fund are making a huge impact on our Dragon family.” 

giving-hearts-day-logo.jpgMany of those who gave to the fund as part of this Giving Hearts Day initiative simply saw their gift as another way to transform the lives of MSUM students. 

“It was important to me to give because I want students to know that faculty and staff care about them as whole persons,” said Rebecca Gardner, communication studies professor. “Financial stress can make the difference between staying stuck and moving forward toward graduation. I wanted to help clear the way for students to achieve their college degrees.” 

Gifts to MSUM and its Student Emergency Assistance Fund really can make a significant impact on the lives of MSUM students. Your gift could be reason one more student is able to continue their education instead of being derailed by a one-time financial emergency or crisis. 

To have a number of our faculty raise $6,000 in matching gifts for the Student Emergency Assistance Fund is truly inspiring. When we give, we don’t always see the impact of that gift, but supporting students in a time of a need can be life-changing,” said Cindy Bailey, MSUM Foundation director of annual giving. 

If you feel inspired to give to students, join us for Giving Hearts Day on February 11. Visit, choose Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) Foundation as your charity of choice, and designate your donation to Student Emergency Assistance Fund or other area of choice.

Thank you for your assistance in transforming the lives of MSUM students.

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