With less than two months until undergraduate commencement, Quinnipiac seniors have one final chance to make their mark on the university. This chance will come through the Senior Class Gift Campaign, an initiative chaired by 14 seniors.
The SCG campaign serves to raise money for the “Class of 2011 Endowed Scholarship,” which will be awarded every year to a student in need of financial aid.
“When I left here I had $100,000 worth of loans, but I still give to Quinnipiac every year because it’s going to help somebody afford the opportunity that I couldn’t have,” said Austin Ashe, associate director for alumni and student relations. Ashe, a 2003 graduate of Quinnipiac, serves as the adviser to the Gift Committee.
To correspond with the class year, the senior donation is $20.11, but students may choose to donate more. Under present university policy, $25,000 needs to be raised to create an endowed scholarship. The goal of the committee is to raise $12,500 (or 622 seniors worth) of donations by April 22. Once that mark is reached, the university will match the final amount of donated money by the senior class in order to raise the full $25,000.
“As of now, [the scholarship] would only go to one person, but as the scholarship grows… down the line, who’s to say that the scholarship won’t be $50,000 or more?” Ashe said.
President John Lahey has already donated $2,011 to the cause. He is also partnering with The Pasquale “Pat” Abbate ’58 Alumni House to host a reception on April 30 for all seniors who donate. The party will be co-sponsored by Residential Life and the President’s Office.
“We just thought since so many people feel like President Lahey is so busy that they don’t see him … how cool would it be if we could get him to show a bit of his personality and character to students?” committee member Gabriella Cuzzola said.
The SCG committee has already made large strides since last year, when the tradition first started. According to Cuzzola, it seemed as if no one knew about the 2010 Senior Class Gift. Compare that to this year when, as of April 3, 107 seniors have donated.
“I think we planned for the worst and hoped for the best,” Cuzzola said. “That’s exactly how I would describe it. We weren’t going to allow ourselves to be discouraged if we weren’t anywhere near this amount right now.”
Social media has become a driving force for the campaign. There is a Facebook page for the campaign that has 383 “likes,” and multiple videos have been posted online to promote the cause.