Senior Class Gift rises nearly 25 percent, attracts record number of consistent donors

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

University President Steven Knapp and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Nelson Carbonell accept the Senior Class Gift check from the Class of 2017.

The Class of 2017 raised a total of $109,430 in the annual senior fundraising campaign, attracting a record number of seniors to commit to making consistent donations to the University.

This year’s gift is more than $20,000 more than last year, but still more than $15,000 less than the record $128,000 gift from the Class of 2015.

Class gift coordinators Lindsay Goodman and Pranav Nanda presented University President Steven Knapp and Board of Trustees Chairman Nelson Carbonell with a giant check at the senior class toast Friday evening. The event was moved to the Marvin Center from University Yard because of the threat of thunderstorms.

About 300 seniors packed the grand ballroom of the Marvin Center to raise a champagne glass to the class gift and their upcoming graduation.

Carbonell thanked the Class of 2017 and their parents for supporting the campaign and said their donations would help future students at GW.

“Your investment and those that came before you ensures that future generations of colonials will have the same opportunities you had to make the most of your college experience,” he said.

The campaign will accept gifts until June 30, Carbonell said.

The Senior Class Gift is a tradition that encourages students to donate to the University, holding social events with graduating seniors throughout the year to encourage contributions. Seniors can make a general donation to the institution or direct their gift to a specific office or student organization.

Goodman and Nanda said it was unclear if this year’s seniors maintained the tradition that at least half of the graduating class donates to the campaign because not all donations had yet been made.

In an email sent to seniors Thursday, obtained by The Hatchet, campaign organizers said more seniors still needed to donate to reach 50 percent participation. Last year, a record 62.7 percent of seniors made donations as part of the campaign.

Nanda said this year’s class made more loyal leadership level gifts, a recurring donation of at least $50 each year, than any other senior class.

“That really shows the commitment to the University and breaks a record that we’re really excited about,” Nanda said.

Knapp said during his decade-long tenure at GW, he has seen the class gift grow.

This year’s seniors were able to contribute to the University’s $1 billion fundraising campaign, which officials announced at the event had reached its goal.

“People like to be a part of something big, so to have the senior class be part of finishing this campaign, I hope is something they’ll be proud of,” Knapp said. “They helped push us over the goal line.”

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