Senior class gift meets trustee’s $50,000 challenge

Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees Nelson Carbonell said he hoped his '50/50 challenge' encouraged graduating seniors to become part of an alumni network of philanthropy. Francis Rivera | Photo Editor

More than half of the Class of 2012 donated to the senior class gift fund this year, matching a challenge posed by a Board of Trustee’s member and bringing in a record $92,000 in the graduates’ honor.

Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees Nelson Carbonell presented the Senior Class Gift Committee with a $50,000 check Thursday, after the graduates met his 50 percent participation rate challenge, surpassing past years in participation and total funds raised.

This year, a total of 50.3 percent of seniors chipped in to the fund, up from last year’s 43 percent.

Seniors this year gave about $15,000 more than the Class of 2011 donated last year at this time. After graduation last year, the Senior Class Gift campaign brought in another $13,000, bringing the total raised to $90,000.

The trustee’s donation will go toward the Power and Promise fund, the University’s need-based aid program created in 2010. Carbonell, who attended GW on a full scholarship, said that he feels his gift is going toward an important cause.

“It means everything to me. It’s why I do what I do here,” Carbonell said.

The committee reached 50 percent participation Wednesday night with 45 more graduates putting down cash at the senior barbecue.

Soon-to-be-graduates crowded Kogan Plaza to attend the Class of 2012 Toast and Senior Class Gift Presentation on Thursday. Francis Rivera | Photo Editor

Senior Class Gift Coordinator Victoria Hartman said her committee’s message this year was that no student has a typical GW experience, encouraging seniors to donate to whatever organization or department they identified most with on campus.

“There is something that I think everyone has connected to at GW, that gives them reason to give back,” Hartman said.

A breakdown of the fundraising is not yet available, Hartman said, but added that donations seemed to be equally split between schools and departments, student life, and scholarships and student aid.

Hartman gave her gift to the Power and Promise fund because, like Carbonell, she receives financial aid.

“I want someone to have the same experience that I had and be able to come to GW even if they don’t have the capital,” Hartman said.

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