Senior Class Gift to Honor Classmate Vic Krivitski

When the 20 members of this year’s Senior Gift Committee sat down this past fall to brainstorm what they wanted their class’s leg-acy to be, starting a scholarship in honor of their late classmate Vic Krivitski quickly became the obvious conclusion.

“I don’t actually remember who came up with the idea,” committee member senior Stephani Numme-lin said. “But when the idea was brought up, everyone freaked out. While people have been passion-ate about past gifts, such as envi-ronmental causes, I think the Vic scholarship invokes a passion that is singular. [His memory] is really important to a lot of students.”

Starting a scholarship, how-ever, is no small feat. Unlike other potential class gifts, it requires that a baseline donation level be met before any money can even be given out.

“Jessica Lord, the Associate Direc-tor of Stewardship – her office han-dles endowments and commemora-tive gifts – came to talk to us about what it would take to create a schol-arship,” committee member senior Martha Engh said.

“We have to raise $50,000 be-fore they can start taking money out of the fund to give to recipi-ents. Then they also had to talk to Vic’s family before our idea could be set in motion. So it took about a month and a half before we got the go-ahead,” Engh said.

But they finally did and have been steadily accumulating dona-tions ever since. Even so, the com-mittee is only about one-third of the way to the amount that would set its plan in motion.

“We’re at about $18,000 right now, but there are still gifts being processed,” Engh said.

Engh seemed comfortable with the current donation level, saying that it is reasonable to ex-pect donations to come in past the end of this academic year. Because it is such a large amount, she explained, they have five years to continue accumulating donations, and some of that con-tinued support will most likely come in the form of five-year or ongoing pledges. However, the fund’s current level sits below what senior classes have collected in the past.

“I thought we could [raise $50,000] at the beginning of the year, I thought it would be easy,” Nummelin said. “In the past, they’ve gotten around $25,000 – so we’re trying to get double. Now I don’t think we’re going to reach it this year, but I think that in the next five years we will. I think people will remember that it’s an important cause.”

Nummelin emphasized that this year’s gift is about much more than the legacy of the class of 2012; it is also about Krivitski’s sustained memory.

“Vic’s parents are going to be involved in choosing the recipi-ent of the scholarship, and his family has been really invested in this project. His parents also get a note every time someone donates to the scholarship, so they are really feeling the love from this, which I think is very important,” Nummelin said.

All year, the Senior Class Gift Committee has been steadily putting on events to raise awareness for the fund and invite donations.

“We just recently had a Spin-a-Thon, which raised close to $900 or $1,000. We’ve had senior happy hours and tables at the Coop. We’ve had the Tollhouse pie-eating con-test. Vic was an avid climber, so one thing we did was to get carabiners with ‘Seniors 2012’ on them. And we’re trying to end the year with a party for Vic, which would involve many different organizations on campus,” Engh said.

The party for Vic, which originated as Nummelin’s idea, is meant to bring the whole class together over what really mat-ters in founding this scholar-ship: preserving and celebrating Vic’s memory.

“We have done a variety of fundraising events over the course of the year, but I think we need to remember that there is a personality, and a set of likes and dislikes attached to his name,” Nummelin said. “We need to fac-tor that in when planning fund-raising events. So a couple of his friends and I are planning a re-ally big party on the last day of classes to celebrate his life, and end the year in the unified way that we began it. We’re going to have a rock wall, food, music, hopefully a graffiti wall – a lot of Vic-themed things.”

The committee is also hop-ing to give people the opportu-nity to donate to the scholarship fund at this event.

“But I think that we forget sometimes that we’re raising mon-ey not for the school and not for any random cause. This is a friend of ours. He was an awesome kid. I just think that we need to pay more attention to him. We’ve skimped a little bit this year on that, and hopefully we can end the year in a Vic-themed way,” Nummelin said.

The Senior Class Gift Com-mittee is planning to continue efforts to reach out to the entire campus until the end of the se-mester, but Nummelin indicated that anyone with fundraising ideas or a desire to donate should contact one of the committee members directly.

Contact Rebekah Ward at [email protected].