Maxwell alumna Phaedra Stewart ’91 finds it difficult to look at the world without seeing opportunities to connect with people, raise their spirits and empower them to make their lives better. A self-described serial entrepreneur (some might say a serial…
Syracuse University Class of 2009 revives tradition of senior class philanthropy
Syracuse University Class of 2009 revives tradition of senior class philanthropyFebruary 23, 2009Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
For the first time in nearly 14 years, SU’s senior class is joining together to give to Syracuse University. The 2009 Senior Class Giving campaign is being facilitated by the Class Council of 2009, an organization committed to promoting unity among SU’s senior class.
The primary focus of the fundraising effort is to establish a scholarship for an entering first-year student who demonstrates both an outstanding academic record and financial need; for this purpose, gifts can be directed to the Class of 2009 Undergraduate Scholarship Fund. A gift may also be directed to support a wide variety of opportunities on campus, including facility and technology upgrades, research initiatives, scholarships, student life, or an individual school or college of the donating student’s choice.
“We believe the best thing you can do for your university is to leave it a better place than you found it,” says Class Council of 2009 President Samina Noorani. “By giving as a class, we’re engraining ourselves in Syracuse University history and leaving a legacy for future students. We’re also celebrating a historic year in our country-a year of change, which is the essence of Scholarship in Action.”
The theme of the 2009 Senior Class Giving campaign, “In Unity There Is Strength,” conveys the powerful impact the class can have by working together toward a common goal. A student-developed logo will also help create support and momentum for the initiative.
Class Council of 2009 representatives will be present to talk to seniors about the importance of the campaign during Grad Fair ’09 on Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., in the atrium of the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center. Opportunities to make gifts online will be available.
With the help of the Syracuse University Office of Development, a website (http://classof2009giving.syr.edu) has been created to allow class members, friends and family to give online. Students can also call (315) 443-3926 or submit their gift in person to Syracuse University Advancement Services, Suite 214, Women’s Building, 820 Comstock Ave., weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. In addition, class members can join a newly established Facebook group, SU 2009 Senior Class Giving.
Students can give as much or as little as they want, but the Class Council is encouraging seniors to donate $20.09 to commemorate their class year. According to Noorani, if every senior gives $20.09, the initiative can make a significant impact. Gifts can also be given in honor of a senior class member; for example, students’ friends and family can give in support of the fund. The total raised to date by the Class of 2009 will be announced at Commencement on May 10.
The Class Council encourages 100 percent class participation from the senior class. “The goal of the 2009 Senior Class Giving campaign is really twofold-to provide students with an opportunity to give back to the SU community and to help a future student attend,” Noorani says. “We know how difficult it is to pay for school. We want to start out by helping a future student experience what we were able to experience.”
“Ideally, we’d like to see every senior participate in the giving effort,” says Darya Rotblat, Class Council of 2009 advisor and interim director of SU’s Office of Orientation and Off-Campus Programs. “We’re hoping that helping future students is something seniors can really rally behind.”
The last SU student-led class giving initiative was in 1995. Prior to that, the last student-led philanthropy effort was in 1961. “We’re thrilled to see class giving reintroduced at the University,” says Tammy Schlafer, executive director of annual giving programs. “This level of enthusiasm from the Class of 2009 is admirable. They have set the bar for future classes to give back.”
The money raised by the Class of 2009 will be counted in The Campaign for Syracuse University’s total. “It’s a thrill for us to see this level of student-led philanthropy develop on campus,” says Brian Sischo, associate vice president for development and campaign director. “It begins to demonstrate the importance of giving back and dramatizes the impact giving can have. We hope that future classes continue this effort to ensure a longstanding culture of philanthropy on campus.”
“No student should be unable to attend SU because of monetary restrictions,” Noorani says. “We’re hoping that our classmates will step up and either support the scholarship fund or direct their giving toward another part of the University that’s special to them.”
To give to the 2009 Senior Class Giving campaign, visit http://classof2009giving.syr.edu.
To learn more about the Syracuse University Class Council, visit http://oocp.syr.edu.
To learn more about The Campaign for Syracuse University, visit http://campaign.syr.edu.