Last night, over 160 members of the Bowdoin Class of 2014 convened in Druckenmiller Hall to support the annual Senior Class Gift Campaign.
The event is a classy affair—complete with hors d’oeuvres, champagne and semi-formal attire—geared toward raising donations from the senior class for a gift to the College that will aid future students in the years to come.
This year, the campaign is spearheaded by seniors Filipe Camarotti, Emily McNeil, Neli Vazquez and Wiley Spears.
The four directors were selected through an application and interview process in the fall and hired in early October by Alumni Fund Associate Alain Mathieu.
In addition, there are 32 senior class agents who volunteer to help run the campaign and educate the rest of the class about its objectives.
Modeled after last year’s project, this year’s class gift will be a scholarship to a future member of the Class of 2018, a gesture that many students see as a great way to give back to the College.
Vazquez noted that she has received so much from Bowdoin that it is “really significant to have the opportunity to give back in a meaningful and impactful way.”
She also stressed to potential donors that it is really the thought that counts, and that students giving smaller donations to the fund should not see their contribution as insignificant.
“You may not believe that you can give enough to create a meaningful impact,” said Vazquez in her opening speech at last night’s event. “Participation matters just as much, if not more, than the amount of money you give.”
The ultimate goal is an 85 percent class participation rate, a feat that would surpass last year’s class by five percent and seems entirely possible considering the large student turnout.
“I think it’s really exciting to have a big part of our grade be here tonight and to see the work that we’re about to do,” said class agent Katie Ross. “I think we can break the record for best participation.”
Students also commented on the event as a good way to bring the class together in a relaxed and fun setting.
“It’s a blast,” said class agent Jordan Goldberg. “It’s cool for the whole senior class to come together, all for a good cause: supporting Bowdoin.”
“The class doesn’t get to see each other enough, so it’s great that we can all come together in this environment,” added Marie Centano ’14.
This year also marks the first time that members of the faculty and staff have been invited to participate in the event.
“It’s really great that Security can be involved in something like this,” said Campus Security Officer Allen Daniels, one of many Bowdoin employees present in Druckenmiller Thursday evening.
The campaign does not end with 2014 either; the Class of 2014 Gift Campaign operates with the hope that class members will continue to give to the College after receiving their diplomas.
“There is a donor for every year that we reach 60 percent [participation] that will give $10,000,” said Vazquez. “So on top of what we raise as a class, there will be $10,000 for the next five years for every year that we reach 60 percent.”
President Barry Mills was unable to attend Thursday’s event, but instead appeared onscreen before an idyllic faux snowscape background to encourage students to donate.
“Once people start to give to the College, it becomes something that becomes part of their life,” he said.