When a student cheekily suggested that professor Sara Gramata shave her head for charity, she didn’t think twice. To the surprise of the student, senior Colin McGauley, and the whole class, she said yes.
Gramata, a sports management and marketing professor, agreed to shave her head if $15,000 is raised to help underprivileged Chicago youth. She plans to donate the money to Urban Initiatives, an organization that provides sports-based youth development programs to help the underserved children in Chicago.
Gramata said she is excited to help her students raise the money.
“My students were really concerned that my husband was going to be mad at them, and I said ‘No, my husband is great,’” she said. “And I have three little girls so it’s good for them to see me giving back to others. They were great with it.”
Gramata said she thinks that actions like this fundraiser really help carry out the Loyola mission.
“I completely embody the Je- suit spirit of helping others who might not always have the opportunity to help themselves,” she said.
McGauley, an ad/PR major, is enthused his professor was so willing to take on the challenge.
“I think one thing that’s really important is that professor Gramata is a really loved professor by her students and she’s really good at what she does. And everyone is like, ‘Gramata’s doing it? Heck yeah! I can definitely back that,’” McGauley said. “It brings a really cool environment to the classroom. I think that students really find that cool that they are able to practice what Loyola preaches and give back to the community like that.”
Gramata said fundraising is not only rewarding for students, faculty and staff, but it also provides a more meaningful college experience.
“I think it’s one of those things that sets Loyola apart from other schools, our initiative like this, and [it] also makes it a lot of fun for people,” she said.
McGauley, 22, said students want to give back to the community.
“I think a big part of the Jesuit mission and the values that Loyola tries to give students is going forth and trying to be a change in the community around us, and Chicago is our playground for that,” he said.
McGauley said the students who are doing the fundraiser want to get support from the Loyola and Chicago communities.
“I’d love to get Loyola faculty behind it,” he said. “So if other professors that are in the business school found out she’s doing it, it would help a lot, because obviously students don’t have spare change.”
Gramata and her students decided that $15,000 would be an appropriate amount. They want the Loyola community to help them reach their goal.
“If everyone was talking about it, I think we could get there,” McGauley said referring to the $15,000 goal.
Gramata said that her colleagues are confident that the students will reach the $15,000 amount.
“Most of my colleagues think I’m crazy for doing this,” she said. “ With hat season coming up, I should be covered either way!”