Giving in the Spirit of the 13 Dollars

As the Class of 2006 nears the end of its time at Colgate, members of the Senior Gift Committee have begun planning their donation to the University.

This year the Senior Class Gift will be donated to Colgate’s Annual Fund.

Senior co-chairs Amanda Nicodemus and Bennett Richardson and senior vice-chairs John Armstrong, Brandon Ramcheran and Hadley Debevoise are organizing the campaign.

“It’s a campaign to get the senior class educated and prepared for being part of the Colgate alumni community,” Bennett said.

The Senior Class Gift has a history dating back to the 1970s, although the trend has moved away from material gifts to more influential donations like scholarships in recent years.

The Annual Fund was chosen as the beneficiary this year because of the range of activities it supports. The Fund focuses on providing new equipment, software and facilities for academic departments.

“We thought it was a really fitting gift, because our class has been so ambitious and enterprising,” Bennett said. “We have people starting companies and creating their own majors, and we want to make sure that future generations of classes like ours have those same opportunities when they come to campus.”

The committee hopes to get as many seniors as possible involved in the campaign. Their participation goal is 86 percent, since the Class of 2000 currently holds the record for class participation at 85 percent. The Committee’s target goal is $30,000.

Those students who donate $100 or more are eligible for membership in the President’s Club, which holds social events throughout the year, including a large networking reception in New York City.

“We don’t want there to be any roadblocks,” Bennett said of participation in the President’s Club.

Students can elect to pay through an installment plan, which accepts donations in $25 increments.

“It’s not only about how much you want to donate, it’s about showing your appreciation for your time here and for your fellow seniors,” Bennett said. “It’s also about giving in the spirit of the experience you’ve had here and with other students. Our class has seen a lot of change, and through thick and thin we’ve maintained a sort of community.”

When the giving period begins in November, there will be gift slip boxes in at least two locations: the Barge Canal Coffee Co. and the mailroom in the O’Connor Campus Center.

Donations may be made by credit card, cash, check or – a new option this year – ‘Gate card. Seniors can also allocate their donation to a specific program, such as the arts, athletics or an academic department.

Other committee projects in the works include a possible challenge competition next semester with Cornell’s Senior Class Gift Committee.

“We’re hoping to get the class really fueled up,” Bennett said. “There is so much pride, loyalty and allegiance to the organizations that people love on campus. We have a class that can really be a powerful group of alumni in years to come, and that’s something that we want to get started this year.”