Legacy families pushed to give back, stay involved

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

Andrew Kaye, a 1985 graduate of CCAS and a GW parent, proposes a toast at the Legacy Family Commencement Reception.

Members of the Class of 2017 and their legacy families celebrated commencement weekend in the Alumni House for a brief reception Friday, where speakers highlighted the importance of alumni participation.

Legacy families are comprised of GW students and their alumni siblings, parents or grandparents.

Here’s what to take away from the family-friendly event:

1. Sharing a bond

Maggie Wilson, the interim associate vice president for alumni relations, said there are about 100 students in the Class of 2017 who hail from legacy families.

“Most importantly, we want to thank you for your families’ continued dedication to the GW community,” she said. “The bond that unites a legacy family is a very special one.”

Wilson said alumni parents and other legacies feel “pride and joy” this weekend as Commencement approaches.

“You are proud of your graduates and joyful to share in their alma mater,” she said.

2. Staying involved

Andrew Kaye, a 1985 graduate of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, said his GW legacy “runs deep.”

Kaye met his ex-wife at GW and had two children with her, both of whom attended GW. His daughter, Ilissa Kaye, will graduate from the School of Business this weekend.

“I’ve been involved with the University for a long, long time,” Kaye said. “I realized, actually, that between my four years here and my children’s time here, 20 percent of my life has revolved around GW.”

He added that alumni should stay in touch with others and can join one of the University’s over 100 active alumni networks.

“For me, I think it’s the great memories that I’ve had here that made me an active alumni,” Kaye said. “No matter where your life’s journey takes you – whether you stay here in D.C. or travel the globe – there’s an active alumni network that you can participate in.”

3. Encouraging donations

Wilson praised alumni for their contributions to the University’s $1 billion fundraising campaign, which officials announced reached its goal Friday.

The campaign first launched in June 2014 and hit its goal a year ahead of schedule.

“These donations have been designated to support students and faculty through scholarships, research funding programs and student services,” Wilson said.

She added that legacy families can continue donating to the campaign before it ends on June 30.

Alumni should keep giving back to the University to keep making a difference in students’ lives, Kaye said.

“We’re all here for a reason – we all had some affinity and love for the University, and if you can make that a part of somebody else’s life, you’re really doing something special,” he said.

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