Good….and collateral good

Students reviewing book 2Giving back is required.

For everyone.

Whether you’re the recipient of a favor, a gift, or a kindness, thanks for an act of generosity is more than a nicety.

It’s a measure of our humanity.

It’s an indication that we are humble enough, thankful enough, thoughtful enough — and human enough — to turn around and give due nod to those people who have given to us. Even better is when one turns around and gives back.

But you’d be surprised how many people even fail to say “thank you.” Don’t believe me? How many of your former teachers have you thanked? How many of your employees or co-workers have you taken for granted?

How many people have you actually sought out for the sole purpose of acknowledging a kindness or paying it forward? How about the institution that awarded you a diploma or scholarship? Do you owe them anything?

Most of us consider ourselves to be grateful. But few of us  — if we are totally honest — are as grateful or as conscientious about giving back as we think we are. Or as we could be.

But there are notable exceptions.

Mary Gowan, dean of the College of Business, and Theresa Clarke, professor marketing

Mary Gowan, dean of the College of Business, and Theresa Clarke, professor of marketing

Recently, two JMU College of Business alumni donated 150 copies of the book Marketing in the Age of Google by Vanessa Fox. According to Theresa Clarke, professor of marketing, Fox is “one of the industry’s leaders regarding search engine optimization.”

Theresa will give the books to students in her junior- and senior-level marketing communications course (MKTG 384) and in her Internet Marketing Practicum (MKTG 477), which she’ll teach next spring.

“The book contains a lot of practical information to help a business be found when people are conducting searches,” Theresa says. “Search engine optimization is a big and growing field in the world of Internet Marketing, so this book can help our students deepen their understanding of one of the most timely areas of business today.”

The alumni — who wish to remain anonymous — have put a useful tool into the students’ hands as they prepare for and begin careers. The gift to the students is “a generous and thoughtful gesture from these alumni,” Theresa says. “While financial donations are always much appreciated, alumni can donate in other ways as well. I usually have alumni come to my classes to serve as guest speakers, mentors, judges of presentations, or in some other professional role. But a large book donation such as this is extraordinary in my mind, and I want my students to understand how supportive our alumni can be. I hope they are inspired to give back to JMU in their own ways someday.”

Dean of the College of Business Mary Gowan, agrees. “We appreciate the generosity of our alumni who take the time to give back,” she says. “It sends a strong message both to our current students and the university community as a whole. These alumni are truly making the difference for our students!”

And then there’s the collateral good. Not only are these anonymous alumni enhancing student education, they are setting an example with a creative way to give back. We applaud them!

Now who will follow suit?

Shout outs to Patty May (’94M), communications manager for the College of Business, for her help with this story and to Theresa Clarke for telling us about it. If you know of any creative ways alumni are giving back, let us know!

About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

2 Responses to Good….and collateral good

  1. Pingback: Finding Customers Through Search Engine Marketing: A Presentation to the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SV SBDC)

  2. Pingback: Ready? Sort of. – The Serendipity Memoirs

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