2006 Class Gift A Mixed Legacy

With only weeks to go before commencement exercises on May 21, the Senior Class Gift Campaign is struggling to meet its participation goals. “Our participation is far behind where the last few classes were at this point in the year,” co-organizer of the campaign senior Bennett Richardson said.The Senior Class Gift Committee originally hoped to raise $30,000 and have 86% of the class donate. So far, $17,000 has been raised, but only 33% of the class has participated. The campaign organizers have now reset their goal to 50% participation. The money raised will go toward a variety of programs, including new academic programs, financial aid, athletics and student organizations. This gift is more flexible than those in past years. The Class of 2005 chose to use its gift to establish a scholarship fund for a Colgate student.”It’s not about the money,” senior co-organizer of the campaign Amanda Nicodemus said. “We want to see our peers participating.”The campaigners have worked hard this year to persuade seniors to donate. Committee members have advertised extensively, campaigned door-to-door and organized a senior night at Nichols and Beal, where seniors could participate in a raffle to raise money. They have hosted tables in the O’Connor Campus Center, and they organized a banquet two weeks ago for President’s Club members. Richardson gave several explanations as to why seniors have been more reluctant than in past years to participate in the class gift. “With the library construction and the Greek house acquisition, a lot of seniors have hostility towards the administration, and some seem to have chosen to display this frustration by not giving,” he said. “Sadly, this doesn’t hurt the administration; it just hurts our legacy as a class and hurts the Colgate students that this gift would have benefited over the next few years.” Not only does poor participation damage the Class of 2006’s legacy, it can have a major impact on Colgate’s status as well. The U.S. News & World Report bases its popular college rankings in part on alumni support, and lower rankings could discourage high school students from applying to Colgate. The senior class gift campaign will be accepting donations until May 31, so there is still time for students to donate. Interested seniors can contact Bennett Richardson or Amanda Nicodemus or go to the Colgate website and click on “Giving to Colgate.”