By Yolany Maldonado
I Heart KU week, hosted by The KU Foundation and Presidential Ambassadors, occurred from Feb. 7-11. What started as a single-day event eight years ago, I Heart KU shifted to a week-long celebration in the past three years. For this year’s event, each day had a specific theme.
“I Heart KU is a joint project between the Kutztown University and the KU presidential ambassadors,” said Mary Neuenschwander, the director of Alumni Relations. “The mission of the event is to promote philanthropy and to talk about the work that The Foundation has done and to support KU and celebrate the KU community.”
Monday’s theme was “Thanks to Students.” The first day of Hearts of Gold was launched where students and any members of the community could come and write a message about what they loved about KU. The messages were then placed by the rail gallery in the MSU. Hot chocolate bars and cookies were served as a thank you to students for all that they give back to the Kutztown community.
Tuesday celebrated giving thanks back to KU faculty and staff. Thank you notes and gifts could be sent directly to any faculty member’s mailboxes.
On Wednesday, students could write postcards to thank anybody that has helped support them throughout their time at KU. There were also canned goods donations where students could donate money or canned goods to support the food pantry on campus.
On Thursday, thank you cards were written to donors as well as to the younger donors that supported the 1866 Giving Challenge. The 1866 Giving Challenge was a fundraising event where student groups could use an online platform to solicit funds to help organizations of their choosing. I Heart KU hats were also given away to attendees.
To end the week, various alumni were thanked. Bessie Crenshaw, the first African-American graduate at KU, was celebrated.
“What can be expected for next year on I Heart KU week is even more things,” Neuenschwander said. “Hot chocolate was very popular and will be coming back, and the hats are always going to be back just with a different design.”
The Foundation and the Presidential Ambassadors are working to continue to educate the KU community, which includes the upcoming Cub Cab in the spring. The Cub Cab is a golf cart that student ambassadors will drive around campus to ask trivia questions to any passing students or staff.