Written by: Dachele Cuke

By now you know, Washington Adventist University’s special giving campaigns, WAU Sabbath and #GivingTuesday, launched last week. Many saw the promotion for these days but do we really know what they’re about? Tanya Sweeney has all the answers!

Tanya is a kind, friendly face in the Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations.  She works with not only fundraisers, events, and alumni at WAU but so much more. When asked What is WAU Sabbath? She explains that “WAU Sabbath is a day designated each year by the Columbia Union Conference to encourage members of the conference churches to give offerings and donations that day in order to provide significant support to our students in making Christian education affordable.”

Making college affordable is a key factor in giving people a chance to get this type of education. Christian education is so important! And it can’t be done without help from the community. That’s why WAU Sabbath is so needed for the University to grow. This support not only helps the school but all the places that these students go when they have graduated. They have been given the seed of Christian Education and where they go, it will go. This is more than just support for education – it’s a ministry.

This ministry is closely connected with the idea of the global movement that happens on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving called, #GivingTuesday. This movement, which began in 2012, was created as an international day of charitable giving and it hasn’t stopped since. This is a day WAU and many organizations around the world participate in to get support for their worthy causes. 

These two giving days are helping over 1000 students here at WAU seeking Christian education and that number keeps growing. The #1 focus here are the students, so by giving to WAU, you are making a direct impact on their lives. Contributions go to things like scholarships, academic departments and/or infrastructure projects.

As Executive Director of Development for the Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations, Tanya, along with Jennifer Albury, who engages our alumni, is responsible for creating and implementing fundraising programs of the university. Tanya believes that she does this because she enjoys helping and serving others. God called her into fundraising and after a long career in sales and marketing, she is inspired by the idea of having a part in students’ successes.

Tanya goes on to say, “As a first-generation college student myself, I would not have been able to attend college if it were not for the scholarships I received.  Knowing that someone gave of their resources so that I could receive a college education, is a reason for me to give so that other students can achieve the same.”

Even though WAU Sabbath and #GivingTuesday have passed for this year, individuals can still give to WAU by going online to the website, mailing a donation to the school, or even better, “Stopping by our office!!” Tanya exclaims, “We’re on the third floor of Wilkinson Hall — Jennifer and I would love to chat with you! And remember, Student Success Depends on You!

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