Members of the senior class and members of the Cornell Board of Trustees met last night for an informal networking event at the Big Red Barn.
The event, sponsored by the 2004 Senior Class Campaign, was the second event held this year for student leaders in an effort to encourage participation in the 2004 Class Campaign.
The Senior Class Campaign is an organization that aims to get members of the senior class involved in alumni fundraising efforts.
Currently, Senior Class Campaign officers and student volunteers are working to get seniors to pay their class dues of $10 — which goes towards reunions, a year-long subscription to the Cornell Alumni Magazine and other alumni events — as well as encouraging them to make a gift of $10.04 to the
University, a total of, at least, $20.04 from members of the class of 2004.
According to Dana Marohn ’04, vice president of affinities for the senior class campaign, the “phone-a-thon program is one of the best ways” to encourage students to give. In this program, students volunteer to call seniors and encourage them to participate.
Esther Tang ’04, president of the senior class campaign, said that students who were invited to the trustee event “had volunteered or shown a lot of interest.”
According to Tang, the number of seniors already participating in the campaign and making donations has increased dramatically since last year.
“Last year at this time we were around 5.5 percent [participation],” she said. Currently, the campaign has around 11 percent participation.
“Our class seems very appreciative,” Tang said. “So far, the phone-a-thons have been very successful,” she added.
According to Marohn, the goal of this year’s campaign is to have “at least 50 percent [participation].”
Kelly Maule ’97, an advisor to the 2004 Senior Class Campaign, said that the they have been successful for many reasons.
“I think the group really came together earlier,” she said. Maule also said that the response to the campaign from the senior class has been encouraging thus far.
“There is some nice support from the class,” she said.
An Active Role
Trustee John Alexander ’74 and his wife Elaine Alexander ’77 are taking an active role in encouraging seniors to make unrestricted gifts to the University (an unrestricted gift is not designated for a particular program, but instead allows the University to use the money where it is needed). For every senior who contributes an unrestricted gift of five dollars or more to the campaign, the Alexanders will contribute $25, up to $25,000 altogether, to a scholarship to be named in honor of the class of 2004.
John Alexander welcomed students and trustees to the event, and congratulated the senior class on its progress thus far.
“You’re doing great work for Cornell,” he said.
Alexander also spoke of the relationship trustees have with the school and the students.
“We come back to Cornell for the students,” he said. “We benefit from these connections.”
Alexander urged all seniors to “give until it feels good.”
Russell Franklin ’04, co-president of the senior class campaign, said he hoped students at the event were able to see the network of both
student and alumni.
“You have that opportunity to integrate yourself into that network … you get to connect with people who are really going places,” he said.
Franklin also stressed the importance of gifts to the University, and
the number of programs and other aspects of Cornell life that these gifts support.
“Without the alumni, we wouldn’t be here,” Franklin said.
Trustee Sherri Stuewer ’73 said that there were many connections Cornellians can make as both students and alumni of the University.
“I think that establishing a sense of a class is really important, and there’s no better place to start that here.”
Franklin said that he was very pleased with the number of students and trustees at the event.
“It was a great turnout,” he said.
Charlie Wait ’04, a student who attended the event, said that the trustees exhibited a “willingness to understand where we were coming from as students.”
“The [2004 Senior Class Campaign] committee really did a good job,” Wait said.
Archived article by Kate Cooper