Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Piper

Members of the 1964 Society outside of Viking Outfitters moments after they suprised Katie Gorman (center) by purchasing her textbooks as part of the organization’s Students Helping Students Campaign.


February 7, 2017

1964 Society purchases textbooks for CSU student  

When Katie Gorman entered the checkout line of Cleveland State University’s campus bookstore, she didn’t expect to receive a financial break.

As cashiers rung up her textbooks, totaling $437.75, Gorman was suddenly surrounded by a crowd of students.

“At first I didn’t know what was going on,” said Gorman, a junior majoring in early childhood education. This is her first semester at Cleveland State.

The crowd was made up of members of the 1964 Society, a student organization that primarily functions to create relationships between students and alumni. When Gorman prepared to pay, Paul All, president of the organization, announced that it would foot the bill.

“I was just shocked,” Gorman said. “I was floored. I couldn’t believe the generosity that was being bestowed upon me and tears of gratitude just started flowing down my [face].”

Gorman is the second student this school year whom the 1964 Society randomly selected to cover the cost of their textbooks.

“It’s definitely a financial burden to purchase textbooks,” Gorman said. “Especially after paying for tuition, for parking and all the other materials needed to be successful in the classroom.”

The acts of generosity are part of the 1964 Society’s “Students Helping Students Campaign.” Launched five years ago, the campaign includes giveaways of parking passes and bookstore gift cards.

It also features a number of other events including “Pay it Forward Day,” which is held each year in April in partnership with Viking Expeditions, another philanthropic student organization.

“You never know when a wonderful surprise is going to come your way, and when it does, pay it forward,” Gorman said.

Philanthropy Manager Courtney Bradac, a senior physical therapy major, explained that the campaign focuses on uplifting students. The reason is that the 1964 Society recognized that some students face financial challenges.

“When I came [to Cleveland State], I didn’t realize the [number] of students who are struggling,” Bradac said. “It’s important to give back to students, and it’s even more important for students to give back to other students because together, we’re all struggling, but we can all make it a little bit better if we help each other out.”

Funded entirely through donations, the 1964 Society regularly participates in philanthropic activities. Since 2009, students have sold roses during commencement ceremonies to raise money for the campaign, ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 each semester.

The group also hosts “Make a Difference Day,” in which other student organizations commit to volunteering in Cleveland communities. Last October, the organization helped to paint the senior wall of New East Tech High School.

“Just being able to take a little bit of your time to give back is going to make — as cheesy as this is going to sound — your heart grow bigger, and you can become a better person,” Bradac said. “It’s always nice to give back.”

The 1964 Society will hold its first membership meeting of the semester on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 11:30 a.m. on the first floor of Mather Mansion.


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