College Advancement team honored for scholarship surprise video

The vet students had no idea why they were called to a virtual meeting with Dr. Melinda Frye, associate dean of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. Or why it was being recorded.

But the news was good. And the tears were real.

Dane Aragon
Dane Aragon

The resulting video, “DVM Virtual Surprise,” produced by College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences media coordinator Dane Aragon, won a Bronze Circle of Excellence Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in the video fundraising category “Videos on a Shoestring.”

The video captured student reactions upon learning they had received scholarships. “Oh my god, I thought I was in trouble … thank you so much!” said scholarship recipient Erin Sunshine through happy tears.

“We believed our donors would resonate with seeing the impact of their philanthropy and help them feel closer and more connected to students,” said Lauren McCracken, associate director of university advancement for the college. “We enlisted our college leadership to host virtual meetings with students under the pretense of being interviewed as part of their scholarship application process and then surprised them with their award.”

The council received more than 4,500 entries from 636 institutions in nearly 30 countries this year.

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