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2013 Graduates Give Southwestern the Largest Class Gift Ever

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    Senior members of the Student Philanthropy Council present President Jake B. Schrum with the 2013 senior class gift. (Photo by Lucas Adams)
    Lucas Adams

A record 76 percent of graduates contributed to the gift

Sometimes a little friendly competition can be a good thing.

After the Class of 2012 set a record for participation in the senior class gift, members of the Class of 2013 decided they wanted to top it.

And they did – just barely.

When all the checks had been counted, a record 76 percent of graduating seniors had contributed to the senior class gift. This tops the previous record set by the Class of 2012, which was 75 percent.

In addition to setting a record for participation, the Class of 2013 also gave Southwestern the largest class gift ever − $113,458. Student donations totaled $15,399 and parents contributed the rest.

Rob Bacchus, director of gift programs in University Relations, said the money will go to support a variety of things at Southwestern that are important to the students, including student scholarships, student organizations, academic departments, athletic facilities and programs such as the Pirate Bike program.

Bacchus credited the senior members of the new Student Philanthropy Council with getting so many of their classmates to contribute to the gift.

“They worked very hard to surpass the record participation from the Class of 2012,” he said.

Bacchus said the students organized a variety of events to raise money for the senior gift, including happy hours at local restaurants and the annual Tower Days, where they added their signatures to those of Southwestern students dating back to 1912. Seniors were asked to support the class gift before signing the Cullen Tower, and the suggested gift was $20.13 in honor of their graduation year. 

The senior members of the Student Philanthropy Council presented their gift to Southwestern University President Jake B. Schrum at their May 11 commencement ceremony.