By Clarissa Grunwald
The F&M 2014 Senior Campaign has begun. Seniors who want to support it can become donors or consider joining the campaign’s Outreach Committee.
The purpose of the Senior Campaign is to support the future of the College’s students and programs through monetary gifts. According to F&M’s website, full tuition only covers about 76 percent of the cost of an education, so the College relies heavily on such gifts. High levels of participation in the campaign also have a positive impact on the College’s reputation. This is beneficial for both the College and for graduating students, as a positive reputation increases the value of a degree from F&M.
Furthermore, the campaign instills in its members a lifelong sense of charity.
“We have seen through the years that the Senior Class Campaign really ignites a culture of philanthropy at F&M,” said Bryan Stabbe ’13, an alumni fellow from the Office of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving. “The purpose of the Senior Class Campaign is to create a culture that instills the spirit of giving back to F&M among our students that begins on campus and continues through their lives as alumni.”
Donors can decide what their gifts will benefit based on what is meaningful to them; for example, money can go to academic departments, financial aid, sports teams, and clubs. Gifts of $10 and over can alternatively be made in honor of someone.
“The Senior Class Campaign allows all members of the senior class to support and honor the people and experiences that have had a meaningful impact on their time at F&M,” Stabbe said. “Making a gift to F&M is an incredibly personal choice and demonstrates that being a member of this community has been rewarding.”
Last year, the Senior Campaign saw 50 percent participation from the senior class. This year, the campaign is hoping to surpass that, with 100 percent participation from all seniors involved in athletics, clubs, and Greek Life, and 70 percent participation from graduating seniors as a class.
“We have been doing very well so far, and I want to stay on this track so we can have a record-breaking year,” said Hannah Barry ’14, one of three student co-chairs of the Senior Campaign.
This year, the campaign theme is “Earn Your Star.” Each participating senior will receive a star next to his or her name at F&M events, identifying the student as a donor. Furthermore, participants are placed on the Donor Honor Roll, where they are listed along with the people, places, and things they have chosen to support. This year’s Donor Honor Roll can be seen on the F&M website at www.fandm.edu/senior-campaign/honor-roll. So far, this year’s campaign has received the support of more than 100 donors.
Seniors who want to extend their involvement in the campaign beyond gift giving are encouraged to join the Outreach Committee. To be part of the committee, students are expected to make an early gift to the campaign, write a “Why I Give” story for the F&M Annual Giving Website, attend at least two campaign meetings per semester, and promote the campaign through social media, word-of-mouth, and other forms of communication.
Aside from collecting donations, the campaign will be hosting a number of activities and challenges throughout the year to increase awareness and encourage participation. In the Donor Diplomats Challenge, athletic teams can compete to see which can get full senior participation in the campaign. So far, the F&M water polo and women’s rugby teams have met the challenge.
Another exciting contest is the Star Moments Raffle, which will continue to have drawings throughout the year. Seniors randomly selected in the raffle will be able to participate in “Star Moments,” or opportunities to do things around campus that most students would ordinarily be unable to do.
So far, two of these raffles have been held; Danielle Evans ’14 got the chance to ring the Common Hour Bell on top of Old Main, and Ali Tufano ’14 joined with friends for a champagne toast and the opportunity to view the night sky through the telescope at the Grundy Observatory.
Future “Star Moments” will include watching an F&M athletic event from the press box, visiting the primate lab in the basement of the Ann & Richard Barshinger Life Sciences & Philosophy building, and eating fried pickles with Dan Porterfield, president of the College.
“The Senior Campaign is all about identifying what made your time at F&M memorable,” said Brady Roberts ’14, another student co-chair of the Senior Campaign.
The graduating class will present its gift to the College at the Senior Toast the Thursday before Commencement.
Seniors interested in donating to the campaign or becoming Outreach Committee members should visit www.fandm.edu/senior-campaign for more information. The campaign is also on Twitter (@FandMSrCampaign) and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/senior-campaign.
First-year Clarissa Grunwald is a staff writer. Her email firstname.lastname@example.org.