Students First

USD students say thank you


Michelle Rohde, USD’s employee relations coordinator, began working on campus nine years ago. Six years later, she was followed by her husband, Luke, who joined the university as a plumber in the building maintenance department. They’re also parents to USD student Hunter Rohde ’18.

The Rohdes’ Torero spirit runs deep, both at work and at home.

“USD is so prestigious. I’m proud to work here and proud that my daughter goes here,” Michelle says. Given their pride as USD employees and parents, it was a natural fit for both Luke and Michelle to step up as team captains for their respective departments when USD launched this year’s Student’s First! Employee Giving Campaign, which ran for four weeks during the spring semester. The Rohdes’ monthly gift supports scholarships.

Nearly every employee on Michelle’s team participated in the campaign and, for the second year in a row, every single employee on Luke’s team contributed to the campaign.

“I was just amazed at their generosity,” says Luke of his team, made up of building maintenance, grounds and general maintenance. Senior Director of Planned Giving John Phillips helps rally the employee teams. He says this team has been generous from the start. “These employees — and all others who give — demonstrate commitment and generosity to the university and, fortunately for our students, more and more give each year.”

During this year’s Employee Giving Campaign, 102 out of 189 departments had 100 percent participation. All told, 1,339 employees — a whopping 73 percent — gave gifts that added up to more than $424,000.

“Students realize how lucky we are to attend a university with such caring and generous employees,” says Associated Students President Will Tate ’18. “We are grateful to be a part of this wonderful community.” — Krystn Shrieve

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