I recently received a letter from the mother of a  girl who, since birth, has  had a blood disorder. The family had been helped by the Embrace Kids Foundation—a philanthropy supported in part by the annual student-run Rutgers University Dance Marathon. Embrace Kids  provides for nonmedical needs  of children with cancer and blood disorders, and for their families.

She wrote: “Embrace Kids has paired us with the most wonderful group of Rutgers students [who] always spend time with my daughter through her daylong treatment. I get so much joy seeing the way she lights up when the Rutgers students visit her.”

This year the Dance Marathon raised more than $1 million, reaching seven figures for the first time in its remarkable history. The money our students raise is vital. And as this mother’s letter makes clear, the love they give to these young patients throughout the year  is priceless.

The Dance Marathon is one of many examples of Rutgers students’ volunteer efforts. Some undergraduates participate in projects such as the America Reads tutoring program in Newark or afterschool programs in North Camden that boost youngsters’ academic achievement. Our law students provide pro bono help in filing taxes; our dental and medical students travel to Bangladesh each year to perform cleft lip and palate surgery for poor villagers.

Rutgers students are engaging with the world in other ways, too. More than a dozen of our newest graduates are heading abroad on Fulbright grants—to places like Colombia, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and  Malaysia—while others are going on fellowships to pursue African studies at Cambridge and to teach psychology in  Singapore and science in Thailand.

In addition to several other Rutgers students who have won major competitions this year, three of our business students and an alumna have won the regional phase of the Hult Prize, which rewards socially beneficial entrepreneurialism. The  Rutgers team has proposed a system of electrically powered rickshaws to be operated in refugee settlements. They want to pilot the program in the impoverished Orangi Town in Karachi, Pakistan. The winning team of this global competition, to be chosen in  September, will receive $1 million to pursue its dream.

As a new report (Rutgers Grows the Garden State) shows, Rutgers generates $5.2 billion in economic activity in New Jersey annually and supports 58,000 jobs. The efforts of our students can’t be so easily quantified—but it’s clear they are making a profound difference.