UM Student Group Leader Wins Executive Director of the Year Award

August 07, 2015

UM alumna Miranda Fox

MISSOULA – University of Montana alumna Miranda Fox, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, recently was awarded the St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn Executive Director of the Year Award.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s exclusive fundraising organization, ALSAC, awarded Fox the distinguished honor in Memphis, Tennessee, earlier this month.  

“I was ecstatic to say the least,” Fox said when she learned of the award. “I have attended the St. Jude Collegiate Leadership Seminar the previous two summers and was always in awe of those students and schools being recognized for their achievements – ‘big fish’ schools such as Michigan State, LSU and Memphis. Even though I wasn't present during the award, I remember how it felt to sit there before, and to know that Montana was finally on the map was very exciting.”

St. Jude Up 'til Dawn is a student-led, student-run philanthropic program that focuses on raising funds and awareness across college campuses for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. There are 175 universities nationwide that participate in St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn annually, raising $2.4 million for St. Jude patients. Up 'til Dawn was started at UM in 2011 and since has blossomed into an annual campuswide event.

“Miranda went above and beyond this last year because not only did she believe in raising money, but also in growing the UM program,” said Meghan McDowell, the ALSAC St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s regional development representative who nominated Fox for the award. “Miranda’s communication skills are impeccable, she always has everyone’s best interest in mind and she considered every detail of the campaign.”

At UM, 13 student executive board members work on the Up 'til Dawn fundraiser. Their focus is to rally the campus and community to raise funds on behalf of St. Jude. Each November, the student organization hosts an overnight event on campus where student fundraisers sacrifice a night of sleep in honor of the many sleepless nights St. Jude patients and their families go through.

“The University of Montana’s 2015 St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn program gained national attention, and their success is a true testament to the leadership of Miranda,” McDowell said. “Miranda’s ability to inspire both her peers and the community is remarkable. We are blessed to have her as a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

Students who join the executive board learn the basics of fundraising, community sponsorship, event and logistics planning, and recruitment. Under Fox’s leadership, UM Up 'til Dawn raised more than $47,742 for the hospital – almost tripling the amount raised during the 2013-14 event.

“It felt great to reach our fundraising goal this spring,” Fox said. “But for the news of our hard effort to trickle all the way down to Memphis takes it to a whole new level of ‘job well done.’” 

Fox is a 2015 graduate of UM. She now works in Portland, Oregon, for R2C group as an analyst.

For more information email McDowell at Meghan.McDowell-McGough@stjude.org

Contact: Emily Plant, associate professor and student-group adviser, UM School of Business Administration, 406-243-4893, emily.plant@umontana.edu; Miranda Fox, UM alumna, mmmmfox22@gmail.com.