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May 4, 2012

Letter: Senior class gift important to College Fund

Senior Class Gift (SCG) campaigns exist in universities across the country as a mechanism for the senior class to leave its indelible mark on campus. It was in this pursuit that the University of Chicago began its SCG campaign over a century ago. Gifts often took the form of monuments, like the Hutch Courtyard fountain, or other physical items, like library collections. In 2002, our student body made a conscious decision to move away from physical donations in an effort to more directly impact student life. Since then, the SCG Committee has decided to give back in the most important way possible: to our fellow students, through the College Fund.

The College Fund is designed to help the College meet its most pressing needs that would otherwise go unfunded. Funds donated to the College Fund are not invested, but go to immediate use, fostering and fortifying future growth in student life.  Odyssey Scholarships, Metcalf internships, study abroad opportunities, and Chicago Careers In… Programs all directly benefit from these donations. It is difficult to find a student on campus that has not benefitted in some way from these programs.

In encouraging seniors to donate to the College Fund, the SCG Committee hopes to instill in them a greater idea of philanthropy. As graduating fourth-years, this is our first opportunity to give back to our community and help perpetuate the amazing opportunities that we have been provided. The Committee believes that directing donations to the College Fund is the best way for this to be accomplished; we would like to make sure that in doing so we also promote responsible and informed giving. We are not asking seniors to donate blindly to SCG, but would like to educate them on how they can continue to support the student body. One of the most important aspects of philanthropy, besides giving back, is making sure that your decision to give is well-educated and meaningful. We ask that fourth-years donate because they want to make a difference for currently enrolled and future students. The choice to donate is yours; we only ask that you decide as an informed student.

The Class of 2012 has benefitted from four years of abundant student life on campus thanks to the generosity and dedication of the classes before us.  It is now our privilege to help extend these same opportunities to the Classes of 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Lisa Schumacher and Sara Diehr are fourth-years in the College.

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