The class of 2010 raised about $75,000 during the Senior Class Gift campaign, nearly $25,000 more than the class of 2009, the chair of the Senior Class Gift Committee announced last Thursday.
About $31,000 of the record-breaking $74,838 raised will be given to Gelman Library, said Kelley Stokes, chair of the Senior Class Gift Committee.
When seniors donate to the class gift, they are prompted to donate to a specific area on campus, like a student group or academic department. That total is matched by the Luther Rice Society – an alumni society at GW – and is given to an area on campus which the senior class votes on at the beginning of its senior year. This year, seniors voted for the Gelman Library Renovation Fund to receive the gift.
The check was presented at a celebration Thursday morning complete with champagne and cupcakes. More than 300 graduating seniors and their families attended the event in Kogan Plaza.
President Steven Knapp, surrounded by members of the Board of Trustees and other GW administrators, proposed a toast to the senior class. Buff and blue ribbons adorned the champagne flutes, which were passed out to students.
“You are setting an example of philanthropy for all of your fellow students,” Knapp said.
University Librarian Jack Siggins was also on hand for the event. He called the gift “a major investment” which “carries on a tradition [seniors] have benefited from in the past and one setting a course for the future.”
Senior Christine French said last week she donated because she wanted to see improvements made to Gelman.
“I have always felt that Eckles Library is a great place and I would love to see Gelman become similar in atmosphere,” French said. “I hope that this money can help in making that happen.”
Senior Katie Ross said she was glad the matching funds are going to Gelman, despite not studying there often during her time at GW. She said she chose to give her gift to the financial aid office.
“Financial aid is the only reason I got to go to GW so I felt like I should give it back so other people could go,” Ross said.