I give to F&M because my professors and advisers made my last semester meaningful, even though I couldn't be there.
After surviving a serious car accident in January 2013, I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. I was going to have to miss my last semester at F&M - miss out on all the senior activities, the activities in the spring, and most of all miss out on the last time the group of friends I had come to know as family over the past four years would ever be together, as my F&Mily. I wasn't going to be able to graduate with my class and everything I had worked for seemed to be meaningless as I prepared to watch my friends and classmates achieve what would now be impossible for me. But after informing my professors and Dean Stephen O'Day about what had happened, they pulled together and fought for me. My professors helped me complete my senior thesis by working patiently with me via email through the entire semester, helping me when I got stuck and encouraging me when I got frustrated. Dean O'Day worked to allow me to participate in the graduation ceremony,! even though I was missing a full semester of credits, which meant more than I can ever say. The F&M community believed in me when I didn't have the strength to believe in myself and allowed me to achieve what I didn't think possible after my life was turned upside down in that split second on that fateful day.
So I give to F&M not only to thank my beloved college for supporting me through one of the hardest times in my life, but so they can continue to help other students and believe in them when they need it most, just as they did for me.