Eric Thibault: Giving to the Senior Class Gift this season

After paying $50,000 for four years, why should seniors give back to the Senior Class Gift? That’s the underlying question that makes my job challenging, but one that motivates me to help seniors see the value in their gifts.

Surely everyone has had a unique GW experience. Even with ups and downs, there was something that kept us all here for four years. Whether it was your student org, scholarship, fellowship, internship, Greek organization or an academic experience, those opportunities were made possible by a number of members of the GW community. These people are fellow students, parents, faculty, alumni and friends of GW who felt compelled to give back and make our experiences possible. The Senior Class Gift Campaign is our first opportunity to become part of that community.

Members of the Luther Rice Society have graciously agreed to match senior gifts and provide a collective gift in the name of the Class of 2011. The matched funds will be designated to the Ron Howard Emergency Scholarship Fund, which provides funds for students who have financial needs that are not met by traditional financial aid. The fund may provide relief for students who can’t afford to fly home for a family emergency or who can’t afford books for a semester. Many of us have a friend or know someone who has been in a similar situation, and your gift to the Senior Class Gift Campaign will directly benefit our friends and fellow GW students.

I chose to give back two years in a row to the GW Power & Promise Fund, the main scholarship fund at the University. As a recipient of two alumni scholarships, I am grateful to those donors who have made it possible for me to pursue my goals in the nation’s capital. Last year, the average senior gave less than $50, but together, they raised over $42,000.

By giving a gift over $75, I became a member of the Luther Rice Society. My membership in this society has allowed me to jump start my job search by giving me the opportunity to network with influential alumni in my field and attend many great events across the city.?For the first time this year, you can even break up your $75 gift over a number of months to make your membership in this society more manageable. ?

At whatever level or for whatever reason, please join me and our fellow classmates by giving back this holiday season.?With your support, we can definitely reach our record-breaking goal of bringing in 1,100 senior gifts this year.?Make your gift online or at our upcoming senior night, Dec. 9 from 9 to 11 p.m. at Sign of the Whale.

The writer, a senior majoring in political communication, is the 2011 Senior Class Gift Coordinator.

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