The Power of the Signature Experience
Every year many would-be BYU students decline attending for no other reason than a lack of funds. Some face extraordinary difficulties and challenges or have heart-wrenching backstories. For each student, the Signature Experience can make all the difference.
The BYU Signature Experience is more than a donation. It’s more than a chance to honor a loved one, build relationships, and create a legacy. It’s a chance to make a difference for a student who truly couldn’t complete a BYU education without you.
The Signature Experience allows a donor to create a Signature Mentorship or a needs-based Signature Scholarship bearing his or her name or the name of a loved one.
Signature Mentorships enable students to participate in mentored learning with a professor, thus enhancing their undergraduate experience and better preparing them for graduate work or future careers.
With the Signature Experience you have an opportunity to bless and lift those who most need your help.
Three Characteristics Make a Signature Experience Unique
1. Naming and Designation
A Signature Experience allows you to name your scholarship or mentorship, whether for yourself, your organization, or a loved one. You may also designate your scholarship or mentorship for a student from a particular BYU college.
2. Annual Luncheon
Each fall, Signature Experience donors have a chance to sit down at a luncheon with those who benefit from their contributions. This event presents a rare opportunity to build new friendships, see how your donation is blessing others, and hear heartfelt gratitude directly from scholarship or mentorship recipients.
Whereas named scholarships are usually reserved only for endowments, which require $60,000 to start, the Signature Experience is feasible for donors in many financial situations. A Signature Scholarship requires a donation of $6,000 each year for four years, and the Signature Mentorship requires $7,500 each year for four years and supports three student mentorships.
Please call 1-800-525-8074 with any questions about the Signature Experience.
Finding His Place
Before he received his Signature Mentorship with Professor David Wood, Drew Allen wasn’t certain what he wanted to do with the accounting degree he was pursuing. “I liked the idea of working in some kind of analyst or corporate finance role,” he says, “and that was as far as I got.”
Then Professor Wood introduced him to another side of accounting: research. With a donor-funded mentorship, they developed a hypothesis based on a psychological theory, conducted a literature review, created a methodology, and tested their assumptions.
“[Professor Wood] always treated me as a peer even though I pale in comparison to him,” Drew says. “He’s incredibly prolific and accomplished, and I’m sure he could’ve gotten the project done faster without me. But every time the project moved forward, he made sure I was the one making the breakthrough. He’d wait for me to figure things out, which helped me get a lot more out of it.”
Now Drew understands his field more clearly and has a better idea of how he fits. He’s even thinking about pursuing a PhD.
“The learning and growth I experienced throughout my research project simply could not be simulated in a classroom,” he says. “So I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had to experience this. [That donated mentorship] gave me the freedom to dedicate my full time and attention to the project in a way I never would have without the generosity of my donor.”
"I Thought That C+ Was the End of My Life”
In spite of financial constraints, Anne Quackenbush always wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps by attending BYU. Fortunately, she received an academic scholarship. Combined with a steady income from her on-campus job, she had just enough to pay the bills.
Yet as good a student as she is and as hard as she works, Anne faced a challenging chemistry course that left her with a single glaring C+ at the end of her freshman year. With that one grade, Anne lost her scholarship.
“I thought that C+ was the end of my life,” she says. “I already had a steady job, . . . but I knew I would need more money. So I called a pizza place in town to get a second job.”
It only took a few days for Anne to realize she wouldn’t be able to keep that pace up when classes started again in the fall—but without the income, she couldn’t afford to stay in school.
“I’d just paid my tithing, and I was on my way to my shift the next day, thinking, ‘This is going to be hard,’” she remembers. “I noticed I had an email from BYU, and when I opened it, I found out I’d received a need-based scholarship. I thought, ‘Yes—I can go to school now!’”
Read the rest of Anne’s story here.