"It's important for us to give back to the College after all it's done for us. I'm happy to help," said Matthew Norman '08, a member of the 2008 Senior Campaign Committee. "I have a list of people that I'm contacting to encourage to pledge."
President David Anderson, who spoke at the event, noted that it takes approximately $100 million to make the college run, and college tuition only covers about $70 million. Last year, almost 83 percent of the senior class donated, a percentage that has been rising annually. In 1998, for example, about 16.8 percent of the class donated.
The Senior Campaign Committee is hoping that in 2008, 85 percent of the senior class will donate a total of $10,000 to their alma mater. So far, about 54 percent of the class has donated almost $8,000. The money will be used for financial aid, scholarships and other resources for future students.
Anderson and his wife Priscilla also pledged to give, promising to donate $1,000 if 50 percent of the senior class donated, and an additional thousand for each additional 5 percent of senior class donations (up to 80 percent). Anderson emphasized the importance of seniors giving soon after graduation. "Right now is the easiest time to give," he said. "I hope that three, seven, nine, 10 years out you'll remember his day."
So far, the campaign has yielded positive results. "I was really happy with the way the Leap Day Kick-Off went," said Senior Campaign co-chair Peter Schattauer '08. "It was great to see our class come together and to begin to think about what sort of alumni we want to be. Schattauer and Maggie Matson '08 are leading the campaign together.
Senior Campaign member Laura Durden '08 agreed. "I'm very pleased with the campaign," she said. "The leap-off last Friday was immensely successful. We had more people show up than expected, and we were more financially successful than I thought we would be."
The Senior Campaign Committee also received more pizza than expected. Because Northfield's Domino's Pizza was contending with a broken oven, the Committee ordered pizza from Basil's instead -- only to have Domino's call back shortly after, offering to bring the pizza for free. "We had double the pizza that we expected," Durden said.
Organizers hope that by promising to give next year, graduates will form the habit of giving annually. "Thanks for the pledge you made today," Anderson said, "and thanks for all you will do in the future."