For Alejandro (’99) and Autumn (Esch ’99, MA ’03) Pino, one word summarizes why they have given to Loras College annually for almost 20 years: Impact.
“Both of us are indebted to Loras College for a number of reasons, not only for our educations, but also for the lifelong relationships we have with so many people at the College,” Alejandro said. “It’s really a powerful thing – being able to support the College that really helped mold who we are as individuals and as a couple. Giving back is the least we can do to make sure others have the great opportunity we have had.”
Added Autumn: “Loras was such a part of my formative years. When I think about how it shaped me as a leader, there were always so many examples of great leadership at Loras. People did such a nice job of investing in students. I have always felt indebted.”
Giving to Loras every year qualifies the Pinos for membership in the 1839 Consecutive Giving Society, which is made up of 4,439 supporters, including 654 who have given annually for 20 years or more. The Consecutive Giving Society recognizes donors who make a gift of any amount to any designation on campus, for two or more consecutive years (Loras’ fiscal year is June 1 to May 31).
The Pinos give because they are awed by the accomplishments of the new generation of Duhawks who have graduated after them.
“These students are doing great things for their country and the world,” said Alejandro, a native of Peru and the third generation of his family who at attended Loras. “You see the immediate impact of what you have given to Loras, but also the long-term impact on those who have graduated.”
When it comes to setting good examples after graduation, the Pinos have set a high bar. Earlier in his career, Alejandro coached men’s and women’s tennis at Loras and recruited international students before serving as director of intercultural programs. For the past three years, he has been executive director of the Young Parents Network in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Autumn is the principal of the Roosevelt Creative Corridor Business Academy, a magnet school in Cedar Rapids for students in sixth through eighth grades.
“As someone who leads a nonprofit, I see firsthand the power that giving has on an organization and the people it serves,” Alejandro said. “I always tell people to never underestimate what they can do to change somebody’s life. Behind every dollar given there’s a heartbeat that will be impacted. That’s one of the ways we look at our giving to Loras. We know that it’s being utilized to really help students develop into the best versions of themselves.”