Donors Give Over $150,000 in Emergency Support for HSU Students

Student looking at biology book in the forest

July 24, 2020—In the past year, donors have given $158,000 in emergency support for hundreds of Humboldt State University students. Gifts raised last year ensure that students can continue on their path to graduation, even during the pandemic.

From the start of last July, the Humboldt State University Foundation has worked with donors and funding agencies to raise funds to address financial gaps students face during their time at HSU.

Initially, gifts to emergency funds such as the Student Adversity Fund and Overcoming Barriers to Health fund aided students who were on the brink of being unable to continue their education due to financial strife. In December, the University announced a matching $50,000 challenge grant for the Student Adversity Fund. Donors met and then exceeded the challenge, bringing the total of emergency funds for the year to over $200,000.

When the pandemic hit in March, students here and in the nation faced lost wages, housing changes, and the transition to virtual instruction. Donors immediately stepped up. With the support of donor funds, students were provided access to laptops and Wi-Fi, as well as basic needs support like food, so that they could stay in school.

Mayra Guzman (‘21, Environmental Science & Management) received Student Adversity Funding to help pay for internet service. As a math and science tutor at a local high school, she was also able to continue working virtually because of the support, ensuring that she didn’t lose her job over the semester.

“The aid I received from the Student Adversity Fund had benefits that extended beyond the classroom. It also helped me to continue to work during a time when my role was needed the most,” she says.

Student needs were also addressed through gifts to Oh SNAP! Student Food Programs, the Student Success Scholarship, and the Humboldt Area Foundation’s $20,000 matching challenge campaign to support HSU California Dream Act students.

The need, however, is far from over as students gear up for another year of school in the uncertain environment of COVID-19.

“We have seen an inspiring commitment by HSU students to continue their studies and build a better future for themselves, their families, and communities. Right along with that has come an outpouring of support by alumni and other donors. We’re very grateful. We thank everyone who has given so generously and all of those who continue to do so,” says Frank Whitlach, Vice President for University of Advancement and Executive Director of the HSU Foundation.

To support HSU students in pursuing their dreams, you can make an online gift to the emergency support fund of your choice, or by contacting 707-826-5200 or giving@humboldt.edu.