Thank YousWestern State Foundation Thank You

November 6, 2017

Dear Kendall,

Thank you! You have brought such joy and blessing to Western’s campus, and to our students (and to me!) with your wonderful gift of $7,000 to the Wilderness Pursuits and Wilderness Based Orientation Fund, in Chris’ memory. I want you to better understand the impact of your philanthropy.

chris-mikesell-foundation-western-thank-you-2017Thursday, a sophomore named Victoria spoke with me through her tears. She was not sad. She was overwhelmed with gratitude. Victoria is a thriving sophomore who would not be at Western except for receiving an academic scholarship. She places a sport that is supported by donations, and is active in campus activities that are funded by caring donors. It suddenly occurred to her that all the wonderful things she is experience at Western are, in large part, thanks to generous people who have made her life, growth and joy possible. Thinking about Thanksgiving approaching made her realize this, and she was overcome with emotion. Victoria was overwhelmed with gratitude, yet frustrated that she couldn’t tell those who had been so kind to her how thankful she is.

“Tom, how do I let these special people know what they’ve done for me, and how much that means to me?”

I assured her, “I know just how to do it. I will let them know.” I am doing that right now. It’s you, my friend. Thank you from the bottom of Victoria’s heart and mine. Western’s mission always comes down to ours students. Every gift ensures that their lives might be better, their futures more promising, and their potential greater. That is a worthy investment, indeed.

“After graduation, when I get a job, I’m going to give back just like they did, so that I can help Western students like they have helped me,” Victoria added. Your generosity has made an impact, the ripple-effect of which will continue on and on. That, my friend, is what makes this world a better place. For all of our students just like Victoria, thank you! Happy Thanksgiving to you, Sherry, Laura and Julie!


Thomas F. Burggraf, Jr.
Executive Director
Western State University Foundation

P.S. This gift, like all your other grants, is so meaningful – and will bless many students in the areas of Chris’ passions. I can’t thank you enough!

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