Anonymous Donor Extends a Challenge to the Senior Class

Anonymous Donor Extends a Challenge to the Senior Class

At Colgate, the strength of the University lies not only in its new buildings, traditions and opportunities – both in and out of the classroom – but also in the students who commit themselves to change, improvement and activism here. Now, the Senior Class Gift Committee believes that the Class of 2005 has an opportunity to support Colgate’s greatest strength.

To help ensure that Colgate continues to attract a talented and involved student body, the Senior Class Gift Committee has chosen an endowed scholarship in the name of the Class of 2005 for its Senior Class Gift. This unrestricted scholarship will be awarded to deserving Colgate students for as long as Colgate exists.

The Gift Committee has set high goals for the Class of 2005 Gift Campaign. The goal this year is to raise $25,000 and to reach a record-breaking 90 percent participation. The Committee is very optimistic about the class coming together and reaching these goals.

A generous donor has offered the senior class a challenge of 90 percent participation.

“If we reach our goals, we will receive $25,000 towards our scholarship,” Co-Gift Chair senior Sean Devlin said. “This means that the scholarship will become endowed and begin helping students next year. Every gift really does count! Most recent senior classes raise around $25,000. We have the opportunity to raise over $50,000. Let’s make it happen.”

“A lot of [my classmates] are now willing to give even $5 or $10,” Delvin added. “Now, with this donor’s challenge, even a simple gift is worth a lot more. This will hopefully make more people want to donate. We hope that the scholarship will be helping students next year. Every gift matters, and participation really does count.”

Devlin notes that the Financial Aid Office cannot award scholarships until they are endowed at the $50,000 level. Reaching the class goals and receiving the challenge will bring the Class of 2005 Scholarship to this level.

“We hope for the same kind of success for our scholarship,” Co-Gift Chair senior Ashley Schneider said. “Our goal for this year is to raise $25,000 from at least 90 percent of our classmates.”

“We are very optimistic that in the near future the Class of 2005 Scholarship will be helping a deserving student,” Devlin added.

Executive Gift Committee Member senior Nora McGeough stressed the importance of such a scholarship.

“It is also helping a person who might not have the opportunity to have everything we had here at Colgate,” she said. “It’s good to give back.”

Fellow Committee member senior Erin Pulice felt similarly.

“No one can argue over the gift’s usefulness,” she said.

Last Sunday and Tuesday, the Executive Gift Committee and select senior Student Callers called and knocked on the doors of many non-donor seniors to talk about the Gift Campaign and to ask for their support. These efforts proved extremely helpful to boost the amount of gift donations and pledges among the class.

“We’re setting new records, traditions and standards for the Senior Class Gift,” Assistant Director of the Annual Fund Katey Tone ’00 said. “The new opportunities for record-breaking success provided by the generous challenge give great life to the Senior Class Gift Campaign. Particularly, the challenge highlights the importance of participation.”

This Friday, there will be a Senior Night at the hockey game versus St. Lawrence University. There will be free t-shirts for the first 200 seniors in attendance, face painting, a raffle, an ice contest and senior section seats. Free food, live music from Joint Account and give-aways will be available from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“Our goal is to get as many seniors there as possible,” Tone said. “All gift committee volunteers will be at the rink early to help with the Senior Night efforts. There will be chances to win team memorabilia and participate in the ‘tricycle-on-ice’ contest!”

The most important goal of the Committee is to achieve a high donor participation rate. By February 11, the Committee’s goal is to have at least 25 percent participation. Throughout the spring semester the Committee’s goals are: 50 percent participation by spring break, 86 percent by mid-April and 90 percent participation before graduation.

COOP tables will also be available during throughout the month of February, where Class Agents can answer senior donors’ questions and take gifts.

“If we meet our goal, we will also break the standing senior class record of eighty five percent, currently held by the Class of 2001,” Devlin and Schneider said. “If we break the current record, we are planning on hosting an event during Senior Week as a thank you to all donors.”

Vice Chair senior Sheila Chun agreed.

“We are really encouraging participation at this point,” she said. “Our goals are definitely achievable.”

The Class has also established a Presidents’ Club goal, which is Colgate’s leadership giving society. Seniors can join the Club with a gift of $100 or more by February 28.

“We are hoping that many of us will join,” Schneider said.

On April 15, senior class Presidents’ Club members will be invited to attend a donor recognition gala event at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, New York. There, students will meet and network with many alumni in a social atmosphere.

Members of the Executive Gift Committee include seniors Cara Angelopulos, Chris Caverly, Andy Colbert, Chun, Devlin, Mike Fishbein, Laurel Koester, Adam Mingal, McGeough, Pulice, Paul Ridley, Schneider and Charles Wright.

“Every senior’s participation matters!” Devlin and Schneider said. “Whether you choose to join the Presidents’ Club, make a gift of $20 or commit to a five-year pledge, gifts of any size are important.”

Chun recognizes the importance of giving back to an institution that has given her so much.

“It’s important to give as much as possible to a place that has given us so many good times and opportunities,” she said. “Our class gift allows us to continually give back to the school.”

The campaign will be driven by the slogan, “Thanks For Leaving The Light On.” Members of the Gift Committee see it as a message of appreciation for their soon-to-be alma matter. All gifts must be received by May 31 in order to count in this fiscal year.

“It’s a personal challenge to get everyone in a Colgate spirit and spread the enthusiasm about this gift,” Angelopulos said.

Schneider summed up the efforts well.

“We hope that the entire senior class will come together and join in supporting Colgate,” she said. “Let’s leave the light on for future generations of Colgate students.”