Mount St. Joseph University

Mount St. Joseph University Awarded $10,000 from Cambridge Charitable Foundation

Academics, Campus News, Mission Integration, Press Releases, Service Learning, Student Life, School of Arts & Humanities, Department of Music

By: Sasha Feldmann

File Under: grant, music department, pianos, service learning, student philanthropy



CINCINNATI, Ohio (January 31, 2019) -- The Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation has generously awarded two grants totaling $10,000 to Mount St. Joseph University. The funds will be divided between the Student Philanthropy Project and the Digital Pianos for Students Program. These grants will be integral in enhancing these two popular options for students -- in and out of the classroom.

The first grant will fund five student philanthropy courses during the 2018-19 academic year. Through this project, student philanthropists learn to evaluate nonprofit organizations and make strategic decisions about investing in the organizations. Students in philanthropy courses research 501(c)(3) nonprofits that do work related to course content, and complete group presentations summarizing their research findings. The students in the course must then select one nonprofit organization in which to invest the funds. Many of the organizations being researched are community partners recognized by the Mount’s Service Learning Office.

Since its inception during the 2015-16 academic year, the Student Philanthropy Program has involved 233 students and invested $28,300 in thirteen local nonprofit organizations. Student philanthropy can be incorporated in any undergraduate course offered at the Mount, but preference is given to courses that are tied to the Core Curriculum, like CORE 115, Justice & the Common Good courses, ethics courses, and CORE capstones. During the 2017-18 academic year, 95.3 percent of students participating agreed that the student philanthropy aspect of their course helped them see how the subject matter they learned can be used in everyday life.

“The Mount is fortunate to be one of the universities that has an academic student philanthropy program,” says Keith Lanser, manager of Service Learning & Civic Engagement. “This grant not only sets us apart from other universities, but it also helps the Mount to live out our Sisters of Charity legacy by enabling our students to become part of the next generation of informed, philanthropic citizens in Greater Cincinnati.”

The second grant will fund purchases of three Yamaha P120 Digital Pianos for the Music Department, including cords and installation. Due to the number of pianos currently, piano classes at the University are limited to nine students. This funding enables the department to expand class sizes and provide a greater opportunity for undergraduate students to fulfill their core art/music requirement. The Piano Lab will also be moved to a new, larger space to accommodate the increased number of students. This grant will improve the sustainability of the music program, as well as build and maintain a vibrant music culture on campus.

“Piano class is a great way for students to learn a new instrument, and is less pressure than a private lesson,” says Chairperson of the Music Department and Director of Bands Mark McCafferty. “This project gives students of all majors the opportunity to recognize the value of music education and learn a new skill as part of their standard tuition.”

About the Mount

As a Catholic university rooted in the values of the Sisters of Charity, Mount St. Joseph University excels at serving the common good. Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students at the Mount are inspired to think beyond the classroom and redraw the bounds of what’s possible for their future. This is accomplished through individualized educational experiences, a safe, secure campus environment, and an all-in commitment to seeing students reach their highest potential. The Mount fosters life-long learners who serve, care, and contribute to the world beyond their front doors.