Inaugural Grateful Islanders Festival Demonstrates Impact of Community Support at Island University

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – For some college students, donors often remain faceless heroes who offer a path to success in a most humbling way, with some recipients never getting the chance to properly greet and thank those for their contributions. In a show of sincerest thanks, more than 400 Islander students recognized the hundreds of donors and community members who create opportunities for education and academic success during the inaugural Grateful Islanders Festival. Held March 23-24, the festival celebrated the philanthropic generosity of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s supporters through music, food, fun, and prizes, as students wrote thank you letters detailing their gratitude. The event was organized by the Division of Institutional Advancement.

“Grateful Islanders Fest is as a way to help educate students about how the broader Coastal Bend community supports their work as students and the work of the university as a whole,” Alexandra McBroom, Division of Institutional Advancement stewardship coordinator, said. “Donors provide funding for scholarships, programming, endowed positions, and more, which are so important to the university’s mission of providing the best educational experience for all students.”

At Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, supporters have contributed to thousands of academic journeys by financially supporting first-generation students, new technology resources, and cutting-edge research to name a few priorities. Islander Jiahna McAfee ’22, clinical laboratory science major, says it’s through multiple scholarship opportunities that she was able to move from her hometown of New Orleans to attend the university.

“I want donors to know their contributions are supporting real people, real students. The fact that they can give this help without knowing us or who we are; it’s selfless,” she said. “I am a first-generation college student who is also from a single parent household – my parents couldn’t afford college right now, and it’s through these scholarships that I am able to afford to attend the Island University and live out my dream.”

A recipient of multiple endowed scholarships during his collegiate career, Kirk Jorgensen ’21, business management major, says the gift of scholarships not only provides a clearer path to academia but a brighter future in the workforce as well.

“It’s great to take a moment to thank our donors. I’ve had so many great experiences here at A&M-CC that they’ve made possible, whether it’s taking classes here or being able to study abroad, it’s allowed me to be part of the Islander tradition of continued academic excellence,” he said.

To learn how you can give back to the Island University, visit