From the Nominator
Through the true story of the late Harry Southerland and his daughter Susan Caron, this film aims to show how even more modest gifts can open up infinite possibilities at a place like BU. "The Portrait of a Gift" is the story of a close-knit family ravaged by a terrible disease—Alzheimer’s—and their determination to help find a cure. It is also a story about the scientific process: what it truly takes to get to a breakthrough, and why philanthropy is so critical to that process.
From the Judges
“The Portrait of a Gift” told the heartwarming story of Harry Southerland and how a mid-level gift in his memory came to be, how it led to a more sizeable grant, and the wide-reaching impact it had on a university program. The judges appreciated how well the story was told in a short amount of time. It was emotionally engaging, relevant, and did not feel overly scripted of produced. The fundraising message was clear: gifts of all size matter and make a meaningful impact. By featuring the story of a longtime employee, the video has application to multiple audiences—alumni, parents, friends, and employees of the university. Interviewing those benefiting from the gift and the related grant (the scientists in their Alzheimer’s research lab) was an effective way of communicating the gifts impact. The technical and creative production was well done.