Posted by: SSU Lingua Franca | April 25, 2012

Donating to the Foreign Languages Department Gift Fund

Donating to the Foreign Languages Department Gift Fund: An Appeal from the Chair

By Elizabeth Blood, department of foreign languages

Our department has been expanding over the past decade, and the financial support needed for our students needs to expand too. We now offer seven different language programs—Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish—and are planning to expand our major offerings within the next two years. We will continue to offer our undergraduate major concentrations in Spanish, but will add major concentrations in French and Italian. We will also develop our minor programs to include minors in Arabic Studies, French, Italian, Spanish and World Languages (a combination of any two languages we offer). Our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) graduate program in Spanish is also growing, and our graduate students present their research regularly at state and regional conferences, along with our dedicated faculty. A future goal is to develop both undergraduate courses and a graduate degree in Translation. We work hard to offer our language students opportunities to study and travel abroad, to get practical experience using their language skills through internships and volunteer projects, and to conduct and present original research on literary, cultural and pedagogical topics.

The foreign languages department gift fund is a special account funded by donations from alumni, parents, faculty and friends of the department. These funds, which carry over in the account from year to year, may be used to pay for special activities and events within the department, such as student scholarships for study abroad or academic achievement, student travel to conduct or present research or to participate in an internship or volunteer service project, and co-curricular cultural events organized by our language clubs.

Our department has never actively sought contributions from the public for our gift fund, though we receive a small number of donations each year from dedicated alumni and friends. To date, we have used our gift fund primarily for our annual essay contest, the HOPE award. This small award is given to a student who plans to complete a service project or begin a career using his or her language skills to make the world a better place.

We would like to grow our gift fund over the next three years in order to be able to offer more scholarships for student research, study abroad, internships, and innovative volunteer projects. We find that the single most insurmountable obstacle to student participation in these types of activities is a lack of financial means to make these activities feasible.

You can help us to give more financial assistance to graduate and undergraduate students in our programs who want to study abroad, do research, complete an internship, or participate in volunteer projects at home or abroad. Any amount you can afford is welcome, and your donation is tax-deductible. If you would like to support our current students, please send a check made out to “Salem State University Foundation” and write “Foreign Languages Gift Fund” in the memo.  Check should be mailed to Salem State Foundation, 352 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA 01970. Your donation will go directly into our departmental account and will be used exclusively for activities related to our department.

(If you are planning to contribute to the University’s three-year Comprehensive Campaign, please note that you may designate that all or part of your donation be directed into our gift fund.)

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