The Importance of the Senior Gift

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By Alex Simon

Deciding to go to Union is a relationship that will last for the rest of your life. The students at this college have an investment in Union, not only by paying tuition, but by working hard in classes and building a future here. The College’s alumni, parents and friends make an investment in you, the students, by contributing to the Annual Fund.

The Annual Fund is designed to help the College meet its most critical needs that would otherwise go unfunded. Gifts donated to the Annual Fund go to immediate use, fostering and fortifying growth in student life. Scholarships, study abroad opportunities, and student clubs and organizations are programs directly benefited from this generosity. It is difficult to find a student on campus that has not benefitted in some way from these programs.

We are not asking seniors to donate aimlessly to the Senior Class Gift, but would like to educate them on how they can continue to support the student body.  As graduating seniors, this is your first chance to give back to Union and help bolster the extraordinary opportunities that you have been afforded.

Senior Class Gifts often took a physical form, like the 1997 Clock in front of Reamer Campus Center, or the walk way in Jackson’s Garden.  Over the past few years, in working with facilities, there has be a conscious effort to move away from the physical to the sustainable. Today, the Senior Class Gift is put to use in the most important way possible: to our fellow students, through the Annual Fund. This is the way most of the alumni decide to give back.

Here is a list of some of the Senior Class Gifts: 2003 Minerva Plaque in front of Memorial Chapel, 2004 renovation of the Reamer Campus Center, 2005 Outside Classroom behind Schaffer Library, 2006 Digital Billboard in Reamer Campus Center (8 percent participation), 2007 Fireplace in Reamer Campus Center (74 percent participation), 2008 The Sustainability Fund (86 percent participation), 2009 Annual Scholarship Fund (70 percent participation), 2010 Jury Burrel Park Renovation (55 percent participation), 2011 99th Annual Fund (18 percent participation), 2012 100th Annual Fund (68% percent participation).

The Class of 2013 has benefitted from four years of abundant student life on campus thanks to the generosity and dedication of the classes before them.  It is now a privilege to help extend these same opportunities to the Classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016.

There are also programs in which we steward and educate current seniors on the importance of giving back. These include Senior Night at Chet’s, Senior Wine and Cheese, and “Last Call” event during senior week. The class of 2013 is ahead of 2012 in terms of participation at this time last year. Also, out of generosity, an anonymous board of trustee member will match their gift so far, dollar for dollar.

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