The annual President’s Circle dinner will take place Saturday in the Teague Special Events Center. President’s Circle Level donors are invited to enjoy a meal and a series of musical and theatrical performances by students.
“It’s an evening of celebration,” said Phil Boone, vice president of advancement. “Our hope is that by the time guests leave they feel even better about giving their resources to help our current and future students.”
The President’s Circle consists of individuals who have donated more than $1,000 to the university in a calendar year. More than 700 donors give at this level, but only about 550 attend the dinner each year. The dinner began in 1969 under the last year of Don H. Morris’ presidency.
Daniel Burgner, a ’10 alum, attended once as a student and plans to make the trip from Boston to go to Sing Song and attend the dinner this year. Burgner said he gives to ACU because he received an outstanding education in an environment conclusive to growth in faith and academics, and he wants other students to receive the same opportunity.
“I was a student on financial aid, and I know scholarships are made possible by our current donors, Burgner said. “It is important for alumni to give back to ACU because it allows the school to offer more financial aid to students who deserve to come to the Hill but feel they can’t because of their family’s financial situation.”
Students will provide entertainment during the dinner. In the past, the guests watched a 30-minute film showcasing some of the students who received scholarship money. Boone said this year’s event will include a few two-to-three-minute videos along with three stages with musical and theatrical performances.
“There are very few students – if any – who will be participating who didn’t benefit from scholarship money,” Boone said. “We want the donors to see and say, ‘Wow, look at the talent, look how those students are growing’.”
Burgner said another reason for donating is that it increases the value of his education along with offering opportunities to other students. Many national university rankings systems take alumni support into consideration, and the higher ACU is ranked, the more his diploma is worth.
“I donate at the President’s Circle Level for two reasons: because I love ACU, and to impress my girlfriend,” Burgner said. “I’m kidding. But seriously, she loves it.”