The Class of 2012 has set a new participation record for the Senior Gift, with 80 percent of its members making a contribution. Reaching this milestone also means that the class earned a matching challenge from alumna Lois Champy MAR ’71.
In the last three years, each successive class has outdone its predecessor by four percentage points, going from 72 percent to 76 percent before this year’s record. The participation rate for the Senior Gift more than doubled over the last decade: prior to 2006, rates ranged from 24 to 39 percent.
“The progress that’s been made in MIT’s senior gift program is nothing short of remarkable,” said Judy Cole, executive vice president and CEO of the MIT Alumni Association. “The student leaders of this program just keep outdoing each other, and we are deeply grateful to all of them for their leadership.”
More than 756 individual students contributed nearly $19,991, making gifts of any size to a variety of different MIT funds ranging from unrestricted donations and scholarships to student groups and athletics.
Reaching 80-percent participation by the end of classes triggered a matching gift of $30,000 from Champy to create the “Mad Money Fund.” This new funding source will support student groups that need cash beyond the scope of their annual budget for travel or special projects.
“Champy’s gift was an important component of the campaign,” said Rosheen Kavanagh, who coordinates the Senior Gift for the Alumni Association. “It allows the students to understand that there is a real financial impact for their participation and serves as a great motivation for the class.”
The Senior Gift is led by a student committee including 26 members of the Class of 2012. Heading the committee this year are co-chairs Zac Dearing and Davey Hunt. Top solicitors included seniors Anne Juan and Jonn-Ross Andrews.
On the gift website, Dearing explains that making a contribution is a way of expressing gratitude at the end of his undergraduate career. "MIT has given me many things since I first walked on campus fall of my freshman year,” he wrote. “I'm excited to be involved in Senior Gift, because it gives me a chance to work with my classmates to give back to the Institute that continues to give all of us so much.”