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Maggie Lander '06 & Ryan Joy '06

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Employer Match Doubles Gift
October 2011

A large white tent covers the majority of Cheel lawn.  Aramark workers swarm like bees setting tables and filling water glasses.   The DJ makes one final sound check before the guests, including alumni, faculty, staff and President Tony and Karen Collins, start to trickle into the tent to find their seats.  What event is taking place?  One might guess Clarkson Reunion weekend or a University event, but on May 29, 2010, a combination of both occurred on Clarkson campus.  On this day, Maggie Lander ’06 and Ryan Joy ’06 exchanged vows and joined the ever-growing group of Clarkson alumni couples.

“Clarkson holds a special place in both of our hearts and we wanted to bring everyone to the place that brought us together,” explains Ryan.   With a wedding party comprised of eight Clarkson alumni (out of the total 14), Clarkson is a place that had special meaning to a lot of the bridal party.  In fact, the officiant that married the Joys is also a Clarkson alumnus. 

It is clear just through the description of their wedding that the Joys have an affinity for Clarkson. Both Maggie and Ryan were incredibly active both in and outside of the classroom.  They forged strong relationships with many classmates and other members of the campus community.  After graduating, they always knew would support Clarkson in any way they could, although they weren’t exactly sure how they would accomplish this priority. 

Ryan’s best man, Kevin Lobdell ’06, helped make this much clearer to the Joys.  During their college days, Maggie, Ryan and Kevin were amongst the top leaders of their class.  Maggie, Ryan, and Kevin were CUSA officers and Kevin was also the President of the Class.  After graduating, Kevin Lobdell was appointed to the Clarkson Alumni Council and made sure to keep the Joys apprised of all the latest happenings on campus.  Though the Joys were actively engaged in their local alumni chapter, they enjoyed having an inside connection to on-campus initiatives.  One such initiative truly peaked Kevin’s interest and he knew he needed to share the project with his good friends.

In October of 2009, the Clarkson Alumni Council voted to create the Alumni Gateway, which aimed to create a dynamic destination at the heart of campus that would connect Clarkson generations, build pride and honor Clarkson traditions and achievements.  “This project capitalized on values and pride we tried to instill during our student days and it seemed like a natural continuum of those efforts to our alumni experiences”, Kevin explained.  He shared the idea with Maggie and Ryan.  They both immediately loved the concept and wanted to find out how they could support the project.

While consulting with the Annie Clarkson Society on how to best structure their gift, Ryan and Maggie shared that they both work for IBM.  Knowing that IBM has a solid matching gift program, the Annie Clarkson Society recommended a gift plan that would best maximize their ability to use IBM’s matching gift.   

“Maggie and I are strong believers in giving back.  We wanted to contribute to the place that provided so many great memories and opportunities for us.  However, we didn’t realize the impact we could have”, Ryan explained.  By setting up monthly payments that are automatically charged to their credit card for the next three years, in addition to their IBM match, Maggie and Ryan created one of the lead gifts for the Alumni Gateway.

The Joy’s generous contribution not only placed them in the top ten donors to the Alumni Gateway, but it also set an example that young alumni can have a profound impact.  “Throughout our college days we witnessed various construction projects and upgrades on campus, but we never truly understood the funding behind them”, Maggie said, “It was nice to be able to put that in perspective and to be part of something that improved the campus.  The monthly payments really allowed us to give a significant amount, just not all at once.  And the IBM match doubled the amount we thought we could contribute. ”

The Joy’s generosity, along with the support of 134 other friends and alumni of Clarkson, turned the idea of an Alumni Gateway into a reality.  The space was dedicated during Homecoming Weekend in October 2010.  Maggie and Ryan were able to tour the space in January 2011 and they made sure to meet up with Kevin afterwards in Bar 9 to toast yet another great moment at Clarkson.