St. Thomas named 2007-08 Up 'til Dawn Program of the Year

Up 'til Dawn's Barbara Koehl, Colleen Stephens (adviser), Melissa Zierden and Casie Uhlershow off UST's Program of the Year award.

St. Thomas named 2007-08 Up 'til Dawn Program of the Year

by Colleen Stephens, Campus Life
Adviser, Up 'til Dawn

I recently returned with St. Thomas students, Barbara Koehl, Casie Uhler and Melissa Zierden, from the annual St. Jude Collegiate Leadership Seminar June 12-15 in Memphis, Tenn. The conference is held for students and advisers who participate in the Up 'til Dawn student-led fundraising campaign that benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This year's theme was "Portraits of Hope."

Participants toured the St. Jude Hospital and met patients, families and hospital administrators. We learned more about the program and gained new ideas, tools and resources to take back to our campuses. The conference included an outing to the Graceland Mansion, the former home of rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley.

An awards dinner was held on the final evening. The University of St. Thomas was named 2007-08 Up 'til Dawn Program of the Year. Out of all the Up 'til Dawn chapters from colleges across the nation, St. Jude named St. Thomas the best!

Awards were given for best finale, best recruitment efforts and best all-team meeting, but our award recognizes the Up 'til Dawn school that has the most outstanding overall program. The total picture of the program – how the executive board worked together, awareness and public relations efforts, recruitment, fundraising efforts, side events and the finale event – were considered. The announcer said St. Thomas had the "perfect" program, and a finale event that was "out of this world." UST was given the final award of the night and was called "the pride of Minnesota."

It is an amazing honor and I am so proud of our student executive board. They worked so hard and are top notch. Their passion and commitment to the program is inspiring. It was very exciting to be recognized and an honor to represent St. Thomas.

The top 10 Up 'til Dawn fundraising schools are:

  1. Chico State (Calif.), $180,283
  2. Western Kentucky, $114,285
  3. University of Memphis, $111,948
  4. Kansas State, $85,252
  5. University of St. Thomas, $82,549
  6. Northwest Missouri, $80,670
  7. St. John's/St. Ben's, $76,551
  8. Missouri State Springfield, $75,467
  9. Clemson, $75,069
  10. Creighton University, $69,373