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Dartmouth Class of 2009 Breaks Senior Class Gift Participation Record

June 4, 2009

HANOVER, N.H. - Dartmouth College's Class of 2009 set out in April to continue a now five-year trend of ever-increasing participation in the Senior Class Gift program and beat the record-setting Class of 2008. They were successful on both counts. Ninety-six percent of the '09s contributed to the senior class gift, almost four percent more than the previous record of 92.5 percent set by the Class of 2008. The '09s are the fifth Dartmouth class in a row since 2005 to outdo their predecessors.

"The '09s and I share a unique bond," said President James Wright, who is leaving the College this summer after forty years, the last eleven as president. "We are all about to learn what 'life after Dartmouth' means. I'm extremely proud of their determination and their generosity. They've learned well from their predecessors: the '08s, and every alumnus and alumna whose philanthropy keeps the College strong."

Twenty Greek organizations achieved 100 percent participation—up from fifteen last year—as did other student organizations, including the Senior Executive Committee, Class Council, Palaeopitus, and the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows.

Three seniors—Taylor Dryman, Leah Adkins, and Rembert Browne—led a team of 42 volunteers from the Class of 2009 in the successful effort. Michael Bamberger '09 created the website www.seniorclassgift2009.com, which included students' testimonials about why they made their gift. The comments displayed both wit ("Wow! I just gave to the senior gift and already my broken leg has healed, I got a job offer, and a girl asked me out. I feel great!" wrote Thomas Donahoe) and gratitude ("I gave because without the help and support from alums and friends of the College, the amazing experiences I had would not be possible for the next generation of Dartmouth students," wrote Raymond Rodriguez.)

Gabriela Collins-Fernandez '09 created the poster that was given to all student donors. It features multiple watercolor views of Baker Tower. Each donor was also rewarded with a pair of custom-designed '09 sunglasses.

Past alumni contributed as well. Preparing for their 50th reunion, Bill Boyle '59, Chris Cundey '59, and an anonymous alumni donor challenged the '09 seniors: collectively the three of them would donate $1,000 for every one percentage point of the class who contributed. With 96 percent of class contributing a total of $10,160.91, the collective gift between students, challengers, parents, and friends amounted to more than $105,000.

As a result, ten Dartmouth College Fund Scholars from the Class of 2013 will be named in recognition of the Class of 2009. All student donors to the 2009 campaign will be invited back to meet their ten scholars from the Class of 2013 during Homecoming weekend this fall.

"The effort the '09s made was just outstanding," said Sylvia Racca, executive director of the Dartmouth College Fund. "And to have two '59s and others to support them in this effort is an extraordinary statement about the bonds that tie generations together at Dartmouth."

Contact: Sue Knapp, 603-646-3661

Visit the Honor Roll to see who in your class has made a gift.