My friend Shanti told me a story that gave me goose bumps.
There is this old man on the side of a road that connects two villages, who is trying to plant a sapling. A young passerby asks the old man what he is doing. The old man replies that he is planting this shade tree. “But, says the young man, it’ll be years before it can provide any shade and you will be long gone by then.” “It’s not for me,” replies the old man. “I have already made use of the shade from trees planted by others – this one is for the future travelers.”
“So you see, all my life,” Shanti stated, “I have rested in the shade of the trees I didn’t plant. I have been warmed by the fires I did not light and I have quenched my thirst from the wells I didn’t dig. So in gratitude, this is my little effort at planting a sapling.” Shanti is actually Dr. Rajagopal Shantaram, a Foundation for Mott Community College Board Member but is affectionately called Shanti. He admits to resting in the shadows of shade trees most of his life.
During the naming ceremony for the Student Life Center, Shanti shared his inspiration and reasoning for giving back to MCC as the Student Life Center was named for his loving parents G. Radhabai (RA-da-boy) and A.V. Rajagopal (RAJ-a-go-pal). His parents’ dedicated conviction to education was the impetus for bestowing the generous monetary honor as he recalled an ancient Indian folk story.
You must know that your donation makes a world of difference to our students. Your gift gives someone a future, someone else an opportunity, someone else a second, third or even fourth chance at a better life. In these uncertain economic times, your gift is so vitally important and the need is so great. The Foundation for Mott Community College plays a pivotal role in ensuring that MCC’s doors are open to the entire community, and individuals like you and my friend Shanti play a major role as well – providing exemplary support.
Your unwavering support is a constant source of comfort and encouragement for us. MCC would not be as successful as it is today without you. I can promise you that. So, I hope you’ll look into your heart and make as generous a contribution as possible. Believe me, you are making a direct impact. Please consider making a gift at this time. Go ahead, plant that sapling today!
Lennetta B. Coney, President
The Foundation for Mott Community College