Carrie Warrick: Help support our parting gift

The Senior Class Gift Committee has spent the last year asking seniors to give money to GW, but that is not an easy task at a school where many students have already paid more than $100,000 in tuition. However, it is important to leave something for our soon-to-be alma mater.

Our goal is to commemorate our experience at GW and make the University a better place in the future, and we wanted to find something that would have a lasting impact. Each year, the graduating class leaves GW with a gift, and recent class gifts have included objects such as a bench, a clock and a phone booth. While these objects may be visually appealing for the next few years, they have little lasting impact. That is why the class of 2006 chose to pledge money to contribute to the University’s endowment.

You may be rolling your eyes now, but helping to increase the endowment is in the best interest of not only GW, but also the more than 2,000 seniors who are about to become the newest GW alumni. During our four years here, students have consistently talked about our school’s national ranking, high tuition and the potential value of a GW degree. Giving money for the University’s growth contributes to all these issues and is the most important action we can take.

Some may think that simply handing funds over to GW may seem as impersonal as giving someone a wad of cash for their birthday. While we recognized the importance of contributing to the endowment, there was also consideration that we are the class of 2006, a group different from any other that has been at this University, and we should do something unique. To ensure a personal stamp on our class gift, seniors voted last fall to create our own independent endowment for GW.

The class of 2006 gift is the Community Service Project Fund. This commitment allows us to contribute to the endowment while simultaneously giving back to the GW community. Each year, our gift will generate five $500 grants administered by the Office of Community Service to fund community service initiatives. Every penny given to the 2006 senior class gift will be placed directly into this endowment.

This gift adds the personal touch of our senior class, which was marked by giving to the GW and D.C. community. At Colonial Inauguration, students are characterized by participation in high school sports, activities and community service. The last category made up the largest group for the class of 2006, and it is important to demonstrate our continued commitment to this goal through our gift.

While we encourage all seniors to contribute to this fund, it is especially important for those who were part of a community service organization, a member of a student group that did service work or simply rolled out of bed one Saturday morning to walk for a specific cause to donate to the gift.

A keen senior once asked at a class gift meeting, “Doesn’t an endowment require $50,000?” It does, and we’re almost there. But to put us over the top, we need every senior, parent and member of the GW community to donate during the week of graduation. From today through Thursday, anyone can make a contribution at the Alumni House, located on 20th and F streets, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

We were students here for four years, but we will be alumni for life. I encourage you to help improve GW and D.C., be dedicated to your alma mater and impact all of the classes who will come after ours. Give to the Community Service Project Fund and help the class of 2006 make its mark on GW.

-The writer is the senior class gift coordinator for the Senior Class Gift Committee.

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