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>  News Releases >   2008 >   June

Dartmouth College seniors make record-breaking class gift

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 06/05/08 • Media Contact: Susan Knapp • (603) 646-3661

Dartmouth seniors have a milestone to celebrate this week in addition to the end of exams and, with Commencement on Sunday, the culmination of their college careers. They attained the highest participation rate for class giving in recent memory, with 92.5 percent contributing to their Senior Class Gift. Fifteen coed, fraternity, and sorority organizations reached 100 percent participation.

Senior Class Gift volunteers
Senior Class Gift volunteers with Susan and President Wright, June 3 (photo by Katie Kobylenski)

The class raised $15,978, also the largest cash gift in recent memory, and was encouraged in its efforts by a challenge from a group of alumni who are members of Dartmouth's Wall Street Forum in New York. On campus, four seniors led a team of 35 volunteers who, in addition to making their own financial contributions, fanned out during the month of May to rally classmates to the cause.

"They aren't shy, and in this fund-raising effort they've been particularly vocal about their commitment to the next generation of Dartmouth students."

- President James Wright

"This is an extraordinary achievement. The 2008s made a splash in their final days before leaving the Green, which is no surprise to anyone who has had the good fortune to know them these last four years," said President James Wright. "They aren't shy, and in this fund-raising effort they've been particularly vocal about their commitment to the next generation of Dartmouth students."

This marks the third year running that seniors showed their generosity in large numbers to their soon-to-be alma mater. In 2007, 80 percent participated, as did 73 percent the year before. This year's class gift will create fifteen Dartmouth College Fund scholarships. Student donors will be invited back to campus in September to meet the scholarship recipients from the Class of 2012.

"We spent four years following different paths through Dartmouth. This was our first opportunity to come together and make a collective statement about what this school means to us and the importance of preserving the college's future," said Kate Mann '08, who with classmates Tom Healy, Jacqueline Loeb, and Whitney Norton spearheaded the campaign. "It was a privilege to be involved with the campaign. Our volunteers did a great job reaching out to the student body."

In addition to a website that served as a clearinghouse for the drive, the seniors set up dozens of classmates with video cameras to record "the Dartmouth experience." They sent emails titled "Valet Service," and met students across campus to pick up gifts. They brought in 70 loaves of bread from Molly's on Main Street, giving away pieces of this Hanover delicacy at the donations table.

The 2008 Senior Class Gift is part of Dartmouth's Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, the most ambitious fund-raising initiative in Dartmouth's history. With a $1.3 billion goal, the campaign is seeking investment in four initiatives: to advance leading-edge teaching and scholarship; to enhance residential and campus life; to honor its commitment to making education accessible in the undergraduate college; and to raise unrestricted dollars. The campaign is institution-wide, embracing its undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts and sciences and its three professional schools, Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering, and Dartmouth Medical School.

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