The Class of 2001 donated furniture for a study lounge on the sixth floor of the Gelman Library as its class gift to GW, said Lee Holsopple, director of development for annual giving programs.
More than 200 seniors contributed a total of $5,000 for the gift. The Office of Parent Services matched the amount raised by the seniors with money generated from a silent auction during Parent’s Weekend in October, Holsopple said.
Rodney Johnson, director of parent services, said this was the first year his office contributed to the senior gift.
“We wanted to do something to give back to the school, and President (Stephen Joel) Trachtenberg suggested we help with the senior gift,” Johnson said. “This is a great way to give back and help these young people leave their legacy.”
The seniors bought eight dark green leather chairs and a bronze plaque for the lounge, said Jean A. Pec, chair of the Gelman Library space committee.
The library is waiting to receive four end tables for the study alcove, said University Librarian Jack Siggins. Siggins said the library also plans to hang student art in the study area.
The space was dedicated April 30 and is open for student use, Holsopple said. The gift will also be acknowledged at the Senior Toast Tuesday, she said.
Siggins said the alcove’s area on the east side of the sixth floor is an appropriate place for the gift.
“The sixth floor is the students’ favorite floor, and the east side has a nice view that looks over the plaza. This makes it a very pleasant study area,” Siggins said.
Pec said she was delighted with the senior gift.
“I am very pleased that the class thought enough of Gelman to make (the study lounge) their senior gift,” Pec said.
The committee considered other gifts such as computers, books, clocks, a swing or a large sculpture, Andrew Stevens, chair of the Senior Class Gift Committee, wrote in an e-mail. A student suggested the idea to donate chairs to the library during the senior barbecue in November, Stevens wrote.
“We wanted to make the gift something that was universal and that students would be able to use, appreciate and enjoy,” Stevens wrote. “The most important aspect of the gift was that it would be something the students could use to make their experience at GW a little more enjoyable.”
Siggins said the senior gift will help the library indirectly.
“As a result of the senior gift we are now able to use the money we would have used on the sixth floor and put it else where,” he said.
The library has purchased furniture for the fourth and fifth floors to expand study areas on those floors, Siggins said.