Board of Trustees chair raffles off front row commencement seats to entice student donors

Media Credit: Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell said he and other presidential search committee members will look for a candidate to build on the work done by University President Steven Knapp. Hatchet File Photo.

Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell announces he will give $51,000 to GW's scholarship fund at last year's senior class gift event. Hatchet File Photo.
Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell announces he will give $51,000 to GW’s scholarship fund at last year’s senior class gift event. Hatchet File Photo.
Looking to snag two front row tickets to Commencement on the National Mall next month?

Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell and his wife, Michele, will give away a pair of highly coveted seats to a student who donates to the Senior Class Gift Campaign by Friday. Carbonell said he hopes the raffle will excite more seniors to donate to the fund, which challenged at least 55 percent of the Class of 2014 to donate before accepting their diplomas this year.

“The committee thought that would energize participation. So I put up my two tickets as an incentive,” Carbonell said. “I am glad to be able help out with the commencement tickets and our matching gift.”

If the senior class gift reaches its participation goal, this year will be the third that the Carbonells donate a five-figure match. They have given $101,000 to GW’s scholarship fund each of the last two years as part of the annual challenge.

Getting graduates in the habit of donating each year will also be a key for GW to expand its relatively small alumni donor base. Colleges nationwide see challenges like the senior class gift as a way to get students donating early.

The winning ticket holders will also have access to the VIP tent at University-wide Commencement, where headline speaker and celebrity chef José Andrés will relax after the event.

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