or TAMS alumni Travis Owens ’02 and his wife, Shan Wang ’03, they have a philanthropic mission to put their money where it can do the most good in the long run. Owens is currently a Mechanical Engineer at Apple, and Wang is a Senior Staff Software Engineer at Google. Both of their respective employers provide a matching gift program, which they took advantage of when they made their recent donation to TAMS.
These two TAMS alumni, as a family, seek equal access to an education where peers interact with a variety of ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and gender orientations. Over the years, it has become clearly evident to them that there is a gap in access and opportunity for students. This family has had such amazing opportunities and provided many experiences that it is inherently important for them to make sure others know what is available. No matter how hard you work, Wang believes you really owe it to the network of people that inevitably helped you get to where you are today; to the people who helped you along your path of success and who were not obligated to, but chose to help the next generation.
For some families, higher education is considered a financial burden. Contributions from alumni help to alleviate this financial burden, providing the TAMS opportunity for more students who otherwise may not have considered TAMS. Both Owens and Wang clearly have a passion for education and TAMS. They are able to take advantage of their company’s matching gift program to double the impact of their giving on the TAMS community. It's super easy to take advantage of employers’ matching gift programs. Google offers a 1:1 gift matching ratio up to an annual cap; Apple offers a 1:1 gift match as well. Through their matching gift programs, these and many other companies invest in TAMS dollar-for-dollar. Matching gift programs are an excellent way to double the impact for an organization in need.
As Owens puts it, “when you look at where the TAMS alumni have gone and what they’ve done it is clear that sustained funding for TAMS has a huge impact for all of us.” With the recent Academy budget cuts, it is clear that the future of TAMS lies within the hearts of alumni, family, and friends. “Help someone else and prove that you were worth the investment others put in you,” advised Wang.