Name: David Walsh
Hometown: Miami, FL
Major: Public Relations and Spanish
Her Campus (HC): Apart from being the chairman for the Student Foundation Board of Trustees, what other organizations are you involved with on campus?
David Walsh (DW): Aside from Student Foundation, I’m a brother of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, a member of Garnet and Gold Key Leadership Honorary and a member of The Advance Party.
HC: Can you tell me about the work your organization does? What do you think sets SFBOT apart from other organizations?
DW: The Student Foundation is a Direct Support Organization (DSO), like Student Alumni Association or Seminole Student Boosters. We operate with the same goals as the FSU Foundation, which is responsible for managing and encouraging all philanthropic giving to Florida State. What most people don’t realize, is without private giving FSU wouldn’t be anywhere near as great as it is today. Philanthropy to the university is what allows us to grow and expand, making our degrees more valuable. By working with this Foundation, The Student Foundation is able to have a direct impact on FSU’s advancement, which I think is an incredible position for our organization to be in.
HC: Does the organization have any major events coming up?
DW: We do indeed! On November 6th, we’re hosting The Student Foundation CAREs 5K Relay, benefitting the FSU Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE). CARE is a program that supports first-generation, economically disadvantaged students at FSU, allowing them to realize their potential here by providing support and scholarships. What I love about the event is that the funds we raise will go directly to FSU students, and best of all, through a matching grant, all profits will be matched dollar-for-dollar, doubling our fundraising total.
HC: What made you want to take on the challenge of becoming Chairman of the Student Foundation?
DW: My Student Foundation story begins before I even got to FSU, when I was in high school looking at different colleges to attend. FSU stuck out to me because they made me feel valued and supported as an applicant. Obviously, I chose to come here, and from my first day at orientation, that feeling of support remained strong. Florida State has given me so many amazing opportunities and presented me with unique challenges that have helped me grow as an individual, and I’ve always been grateful for that. After a year of being involved with Student Foundation, I saw an opportunity in becoming Chairman, to give back to the university that has given me so much already. And while it’s had its share of challenges, I’m incredibly grateful to be able to serve FSU in this capacity.
HC: Philanthropy tends to work in a ripple effect, how has philanthropy impacted your community or you personally?
DW: Philanthropy’s effect on my life has been apparent, both personally and in my community. Some of the best programs and initiatives we have, such as the Office of National Fellowships, the Presidential Scholars Program and even our football team wouldn’t be here without private support. On a more personal level, philanthropy is what allows me to attend FSU. Without private scholarships, I wouldn’t be able to be here, and that’s something I’m incredibly grateful for and try to never take for granted.