Seniors Choose Gift Speaker Series a Unique Plan

Amy Elizabeth Long

The senior class voted during the week of September 17 and determined that their gift will be a Global Leaders Lecture Series, which won over 50 percent of the vote.

Once endowed, the Global Leaders Lecture Series will annually bring internationally renowned speakers to campus.

The Colgate community will have the opportunity to experience the series’ first speaker on April 13, 2007. Even though a parent donor secured this opening event, support from the senior class is necessary to make this series a permanent piece of the student experience.

The Senior Class Gift Committee (SCGC) aims to capitalize on the nostalgia surrounding the fact that, like all those before and after them, the members of the Class of 2007 will spend many more years as Colgate alumni than as Colgate students.

The Senior Class Gift is an opportunity for seniors to reflect on their Colgate years. The gift allows them to establish a lasting Colgate legacy and leave a mark on both the history and future of the institution.

Class gifts from past years have included the commemorative Class of 2001 walkway between Little Hall and the Library as well as the English Garden at Merrill House, bestowed by the Class of 2004. The classes of 1999 and 2005 allocated funds for financial aid scholarships.

Senior SCGC member Amy Mastrocinque emphasized the educational importance of the Lecture Series.

“This gift is something that we as a class can really give back to Colgate,” Mastrocinque said. “It is not a material item, but a special and amazing experience that will enhance the already-stellar education provided at Colgate. The Series allows us to bring important issues to students outside of the classroom, brought by individuals who can push the envelope in our way of thinking and looking at different concepts.”

Once the lecture series is instated, members of the class of 2007 will receive invitations to the events and will get priority seating to hear world-renowned speakers, even after graduation.

While the gift campaigns usually raise around $25,000 annually, SCGC’s goal is participation and involving as many seniors as possible in fundraising efforts.

“We want seniors to feel good about the amount they are able to give,” Mastrocinque said. “We really just want everyone to get behind this gift and get excited about what we as a class are giving back to Colgate.”

To inspire participation, an anonymous donor has extended a challenge to the Class of 2007 called the 86 percent Participation Challenge, which seeks to break the 85 percent participation record held by the Class of 2001. For every 25 percent of the class that contributes, the donor will give $25,000. So, when 75 percent of the class has contributed, the donor will have given $75,000. To top if off, when the Class of 2007 passes the 86 percent mark, the donor will kick in an additional $25,000 for a grand total of $100,000.

“We are asking for seniors to give a meaningful contribution such as $13 or $20.07. However, we completely understand that students are struggling young adults who may not have much money to spare,” she said.

In essence, the amount that each individual contributes does not matter, but the fact that they contribute even in the slightest will make or break the extra $100,000 additional gift.

The members of the SCGC are Bethany Boll, Kelly Egler, Matt Kroll, Elizabeth Noyes, Mark Perelman, Mike Tone, Jacob Anderson, Katie Aretz, Elise Bartlett, Sirikit Benja-Athonsirikul, Kaitlin Hespos, Amy Mastrocinque, Kristine Michelsen-Correa, Erin Peterson, Meg Reed, Tyson Seely and Brook Wheeler.