Many of you can remember as students attending your first major professional conference such as the Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society. Recall the powerful impression it made on you in seeing the breadth of the enterprise, the vitality of your community, the reach of your discipline, and the future prospects and career opportunities, and to know that you were being anointed into this community at this meeting. You may also recall that it probably didn’t cost that much out-of-pocket to attend this meeting. Behind the scenes many of us were going after everyone and anyone who could provide some funding to help defray the costs.
As our programs have grown, the number of students hoping to present their research or simply attend these meetings has concurrently grown. Forty students attended the AMS meeting in Phoenix in 2015.
The Earth Sciences Alumni Travel Award, affectionately known as “400 in 4” because we aspire to raise $400,000 in four years, is an endowment program inspired by five alumni as a way of giving back by defraying the costs to future students attending the conferences and professional meetings. If each alumnus/alumna would pledge a gift of $250 per year for four years, the spendable income on the accrued principal would be about $20,000. With that amount, plus the usual sources of additional funding, we could go a long way to offsetting the cost of transportation, lodging, and conference registration for many students.
This experience is invaluable but each year it is getting progressively more expensive to take large deserving groups to professional meetings. A small commitment from you will help to provide today’s student with the same type of experience that you had during your capstone years at Millersville. Please be generous and help us create this endowment on behalf of Earth Sciences alumni group, the endowment in your name.