Student Alumni Association Receives Bronze CASE Circle of Excellence Award

Student Alumni Association Receives Bronze CASE Circle of Excellence Award

Fairfield University’s Student Alumni Association has been recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support Education with the Bronze CASE Circle of Excellence Award in Student Advancement/Student-Led Engagement Initiatives for the Teddy Bears With Love drive.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) recently awarded Fairfield University’s Student Alumni Association (SAA) the Bronze CASE Circle of Excellence Award in Student Advancement/Student-Led Engagement Initiatives for the Teddy Bears With Love drive. CASE’s Circle of Excellence awards recognize their members’ achievements “in advancing their institutions through their remarkable and varied work across all advancement disciplines,” said Sue Cunningham, CASE CEO and president.

In December of 1999, Fairfield University’s Office of Alumni Relations launched what would become an annual University tradition, the Teddy Bears With Love drive. Alumni across the U.S. were asked to donate new, unused teddy bears and stuffed animals to the University, for delivery to local children's hospitals during the holidays. During its inaugural year, 500 bears were collected and donated throughout Connecticut. Now, 21 years later, the SAA continues this effort, in conjunction with the Office of Alumni Relations and Fairfield's regional alumni chapters. Over the drive’s 21-year history, more than 25,000 teddy bears and stuffed animals have been collected and donated to children’s hospitals and programs throughout the country, including Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Toys for Tots in Washington, D.C., and more, thanks to the support of the community.

CASE judges who reviewed the Teddy Bears With Love nomination recognized the drive for its growth in connecting students and alumni with a shared project, while also engaging campus partners and aligning with the University’s mission. The judges also had positive remarks regarding the program’s low cost, high impact model. Ultimately, CASE judges commended the program for teaching “students, alumni, and campus partners about the impact of giving back to the greater community. The program has been a huge success over the past 20 years and will continue to be a staple in the Fairfield community.”

Student Alumni Association members were thrilled to hear about the recognition. “I am so proud to have played a role in Teddy Bears With Love,” said Chloe Stokinger ’22, SAA 2019-20 director of community service and Teddy Bears With Love chair. “I was able to witness all the hard work our whole community contributed to creating such a successful turnout. Teddy Bears With Love is not simply about the number of bears collected; it emphasizes strength, community, and of course, love.”

To learn more about Fairfield University’s Teddy Bears With Love drive, please visit fairfield.edu/teddybears.

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Last modified: 07-17-20 8:26 AM

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