with another profound experience, when I had an
opportunity to travel to Cape Town in January
with the University Honors Program to learn about the social,
economical, and politicalaspects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa.”
Philanthropic gifts have a way of rearing their pretty little heads every now and then and that is just what happened at UMass Boston’s Commencement a few weeks ago. In 2007 retired UMass Boston professor Joel Blair and his friend Peter Moulton made two commitments to UMass Boston, one was an an outright gift that endows travel fellowships for graduating seniors in the Honors Program and another was an estate gift that will endow the directorship of the Honors Program.
Gifts such as these quietly enrich the very fabric of daily life for UMass Boston’s students, but when Honors Program student and J.F.Kennedy award recipient Thao Xuan Do delivered her address to the thousands of guests, she highlighted the transformative role of her travel scholarship.
Thao, who plans a medical career to devote her life to national and global health problems such as theHIV/AIDS epidemic, had this to say about her recent trip to South Africa :
There were so many moments in the trip when tears and feelings could not be kept suppressed no matter how hard I tried. The trip allowed me to step outside of my environment and become fully aware of the power and the privilege associated with the groups and labels to which I belong. It also taught me an important lesson about HIV/AIDS: In order for human beings to conquer this virus, contributions across multi disciplines are required, and all the personnel involved in this fight must possess a self-motivation, leadership characteristic, and solid commitment. This trip continues to have huge impact on my outlook about life as well as my future career plan.”
Philanthropy. Most of the time it quietly, but powerfully infiltrates the hopes and dreams of UMass Boston students, but two weeks ago Thao gave us a big loud look at its ultimate force. Thank you, Thao.
“I was very lucky to end my undergraduate career with another profound experience, when I had an opportunity to travel to Cape Town in January with the University Honors Program to learn about the social, economical, and political aspects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa. Growing up just outside of Saigon, Vietnam, I had witnessed many cases where young people were involved in drugs and prostitution, which led to HIV and AIDS.”
People can make charitable gifts anywhere:
here’s why your investment to public higher education “reaches higher.”