Students work toward goal for Senior Gift Capaign

The Puget Sound class of 2012 wants to be the best ever and when it comes to donating to the annual Senior Class Gift Campaign (SCGC), they have a good chance of success. The SCGC’s leadership is looking to best the mark set by the class of 2009, which had 59% participation. Participation in the SCGC, which is run through the Office of Annual Giving with student support, entails making a five year pledge to donate to the University annually for a total of $75. According to Assistant Director of Annual Giving Clay Ross, this year’s senior class is on track to set the record.

“We have been ahead from the start, since our kickoff event in early November,” Ross said. “We are winning and beating the other years, because of the volunteers. They’re killing it. This is the only class that really hit the ground running.”

The SCGC is steered by Ross, a 2009 Puget Sound graduate, and an executive committee of students from across the campus community. The focus of the SCGC is on networking through the senior class to solicit support for the fund, which goes directly towards financial aid.

“I think the fund is really important because it has a bigger impact on the school and the student body than a physical gift like a bench. It is really important to me to see my friends and other seniors giving,” Senior Class Gift Campaign Co-Chair Amy Roll said. “I understand that most seniors don’t have that same perspective, but I hope that through the campaign they can come to see that this does matter, and that their five dollars does make a difference.”

Although the total contribution from each senior class is relatively small, $1,530 in 2009 for example, Ross and Roll stressed the importance of making a commitment to future giving. So far, over 80 seniors have pledged to the SCGC.

“Our campaign is not even about getting the five dollars this year, it is about getting people to recognize the importance of giving annually,” Ross said.  “There are some seniors that say why can’t I just give the $75 now. Well yeah, but why don’t you give next year too. It is not about how much you give, it is that you give.”

Despite the SCGC’s success, some seniors remain hesitant to participate. Roll believes the two most common reasons for not giving are that seniors sometimes connect the SCGC with unpopular policies of the administration or they feel that they have contributed enough to the University directly through tuition and fees. For context, 80% of the University’s operating budget comes from tuition room and board according to Ross. Ross sees giving to the SCGC as a way to take ownership of one’s Puget Sound experience.

“If you don’t support the university, you can’t really say how you think the university should run. By giving, you’re making a public statement to the entire campus community that you are a part of this community, that I want to impact it and I want it to impact me,” Ross said.

Seniors interested in giving can pick up pledge forms in Jones 304 or call 866-GO-LOGGERS to make a donation. Volunteers will also be tabling in the SUB for the rest of the semester.