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Friday, April 3, 2020

UTSA Apologizes After Mentioning Coronavirus in Email Asking Alumni to Donate to the School in Their Wills

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 3:44 PM

  • Courtesy of the University of Texas at San Antonio
Comedy is all about the timing. And so, apparently, are alumni fundraising emails.

The University of Texas at San Antonio appeared to learn that Friday when it sent out a message urging alumni to remember the school in their wills.

"An important time to create your legacy: Consider a gift in your will," reads the header of the e-mail sent out by Kimberly West, the school's senior executive director of gift planning. No biggie. If you're a college grad, you've received plenty of similar appeals over the years.

Here's the wrinkle, though. The email's opening paragraph delves into UTSA's efforts deal with the coronavirus, which "brings a new set of challenges to each day." Immediately after, the letter segues into a discussion of how the school could use a share of the reader's "philanthropic legacy."


Shortly after lunch, UTSA sent a followup email offering "sincerest apologies" for the previous message.

"Earlier today you received an email from the UTSA planned giving program that referenced the coronavirus pandemic. The content of this email was insensitive and it was sent in error. We sincerely apologize for this mistake," wrote Karl Miller-Lugo, vice president for development and alumni relations.

"While our intent was to convey how important it is to continue supporting students and UTSA during these uncertain times, we should not have associated the current health crisis with an estate planning request."

Good catch. Too bad nobody made it before pressing "Send."

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