Creighton launches COVID-19 emergency fund for students
Creighton launches COVID-19 emergency fund for students

Would you like to support the student emergency assistance fund? Make a gift here.  

Like a lot of Creighton students, Jada Glover was home for spring break when she learned that campus was effectively canceled until further notice.  

The Heider College of Business senior, who was living in the residence halls, stayed put with her family in Kansas City, Missouri, where she will complete her final semester online.   

Problem was, she now lacked the Wi-Fi and other technological necessities campus provides. These unforeseen expenses, along with the loss of income from two campus jobs, would make it difficult for Glover to make do. 

Fortunately, she was able to receive support from the recently launched COVID-19 Emergency Student Assistance Fund, which is helping Creighton students cover the costs of travel, technology needs for online learning and other essential items. Nearly 100 students have applied to date, and 20 have received aid so far.  

“This fund means a lot for me and students like me,” Glover says. “It shows that people care about us and our well-being.” 

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Creighton has had to make a series of tough calls to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. The University has moved classes online for the remainder of the semester and has closed the residence halls, except to those students approved for special circumstances, to avoid the group-living accommodations in which the virus could quickly spread.

These and other developments placed an abrupt financial strain on the lives of many of our students. In response, the University established the emergency fund with a generous gift of $10,000 from Gary, MBA’91, and Kathy Gates. The fund has since grown to more than $40,000 from more than 180 individual donors.  

Students, faculty, staff and alumni from all corners of the country have made a gift to help our students make ends meet. Some alumni say they felt called to give because they were once cash-strapped students themselves.  

“This made me think of when I was a student living in the dorms and how any expense would have been really hard for me,” says Deborah Cade, BS’79, a retiree in Tacoma, Washington. “Coming from a big family, it would have been a big strain for my parents to buy a last-minute plane ticket home from Creighton. I’m now in a position to help these students out, and I’m so happy to do so.” 

William Delgado, MD’95, a dermatological surgeon in Bend, Oregon, says he supported the student fund, in part, because he was once “one a college kid with no more than $5 in the bank. I understand what it’s like to struggle, and this is a tough time. Creighton means a lot to me, so this was the very least I could do.”   

Ann Nagamine, PHARMD’96, was able to bring her daughter, Creighton freshman Kaitlin Nagamine, home to Hawaii after the University canceled in-person classes.  

“But I was saddened to learn that some of her friends were not planning to go home due to financial reasons,” she says. “I hope that my donation to this crowdfunding project can help at least one or two students get home.” 

Another donor to the fund, fourth-generation Creighton alumna and Hastings, Nebraska, high school teacher Molly Engelhardt, BSBA’04, says she was recently inspired by an act of generosity from her aunt, Susan Uridil Sondag, BSPHA’75. 

Waiting for a flight on a recent trip back from California, Engelhardt watched as her aunt gave money to airport workers whose jobs and income are especially vulnerable right now — $10 here and $20 there to custodians and those assisting passengers with disabilities.  

“It’s just a scary time for everybody,” Engelhardt says, “and if we can help just a little bit, we should.” 

Would you like to support the student emergency assistance fund? Make a gift here.