The awards were presented by the Collegiate Leadership Conference and the fundraising arm of St. Jude, the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities, in Memphis, Tennessee, on July 16.

The hospital, which opened in 1962 and was founded by Danny Thomas , adopted the mindset that no family will ever pay a bill. The hospital pays for everything, including, treatments, lodging, travel, food, etc. St. Jude is unique as it shares 100 percent of its research with the nations and world’s doctors.

At the conclusion of fundraising efforts, students on the fourth Friday in February stay “up til dawn” and compete in various challenges in recognition of the patients of St. Jude who are up throughout the night receiving treatment for cancer. Throughout the evening they also watch patient moments, including from local St. Jude patient Lance Fletcher.

The award is based on cultivation and engagement of participants and teams, implementation of a team/participant cultivation plan, social media engagement efforts, execution of fundraising parties, total amount raised and average amount per participant, activation rates, and utilization of team captain/participant emails, meetings and challenges.

ENMU’s UTD implemented multiple marketing tactics, side events, community involvement, social media updates, radio station advertisements, repetitive communication and hands-on activities.

Each year 70 colleges participate in UTD. In 2015 ENMU raised $17,500, and increased the total to more than $41,000 this year, surpassing their goal of $25,000.

This was the tenth year ENMU participated in UTD, and this year they ranked 15th in the nation out of 70 schools in fundraising. ENMU was the smallest school among the top 20 fundraisers.

The 2016 National Advisor of the Year, presented also on July 16, recognizes the St. Jude advisor who went above and beyond the call of duty.

Miller was cited for providing leadership, constant feedback to the executive UTD director, the executive board and the UTD participants and driving over 600 miles to secure sponsorships. Students mentioned that Miller was more than an advisor; he was their mentor and fills the role of a dad for many.

His efforts propelled ENMU to reach its original goal of $25,000 a week before the event, with an ending amount of over $41,000.

Miller said his “passion and motivation was derived from his own two daughters’ health and well-being. As a parent, I feel truly lucky that both of my daughters are healthy and growing each day.

“Every time I speak about Up Til Dawn I make it known that, as a parent, I could not imagine going through what the St. Jude patients and families go through when they find out their child has cancer.”

Miller says he’s grateful for St. Jude because they will do everything in their power to ensure that “No child will ever die in the dawn of life,” as quoted by founder Danny Thomas.

ENMU’s UTD efforts also received the 2016 Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Month for February. It is given to an organization which goes above and beyond to volunteer or spread awareness within the community.

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