Message from a Donor: Ed White ’06

Ed White ’06

Why do alumni give? 

Here is one story as Stetson opens its doors to Ukrainian students and faculty displaced by Russia’s war against Ukraine.

In the past, Stetson launched a campaign that utilized the phrase “Dare to live a life of service.” It took some time, but for me, it genuinely resonated. It is easy to volunteer or donate because it is the path of least resistance, but when I learned to listen and participate in the conversation, I had that realization that “changing the world” begins with my actions. The way I treat and support others has made all the difference in the way I lead my life and my personal happiness. 
For the past few years, each holiday season I take time to think back on what I have accomplished and brainstorm ways to make my life and the lives of those with whom I surround myself better. I encourage myself to be the person I strive to be. Everything I do should help build a better community. I hold sacred my responsibility to leverage my family, friends and acquaintances to shape a better future for us all. Every action should result in a win-win partnership. The way I build a better community is by surrounding myself with likeminded entrepreneurs who find reasons to support others — ultimately, those who cast out negativity and embrace the special gifts others have to offer.
Sometimes, we focus on the big problems and become overwhelmed with the magnitude of solutions necessary to solve those problems. I feel that the majority of problems today could be solved through more education and a willingness to learn. When I was encouraging friends and family members to donate to Stetson’s fundraising campaign, I stated: “Since miracles don’t just happen, we need your help making this happen. Although the media coverage has seemingly stopped, Russia is still in Ukraine, and Russian missiles are killing people in Ukraine daily. With everything we face today, you have the opportunity to create a better future for us all through the education of these students. I donated today; will you join me?” 
For me, it is not only the short-term support, but also the long-term impact this could have on our respective countries or even the world. 
I supported this fundraiser not only because I could, but also because I feel a deep responsibility to people and organizations that have made me who I am. These efforts that the Stetson community is taking will change the world we live in for the better. I am extremely grateful for the friendships and connections that Stetson has given me and look forward to continuing to live a life of service. 

Stetson has established the Ukraine Initiative and launched a fundraising campaign to support the effort, with a goal of $250,000. Stetson will provide tuition, room, board and travel expenses for a handful of Ukrainian students, allowing them to continue their studies here. Ukrainian faculty also can apply for a yearlong appointment as a Brown Visiting Teacher-Scholar Fellow. Displaced Ukrainian students and faculty can apply for the program at the Stetson University Supports Ukraine website. In addition, supporters can make donations on the site.