Students seize Colgate’s philanthropic tradition
Part of living a successful life is knowing when to seize the initiative and when to ask for a little help. This semester, Colgate students have been learning the skill as it relates to philanthropy at alma mater.
In a few short weeks, during Commencement weekend, the Class of 2009 will give its Senior Class Gift: an endowment for programming in the newly remodeled Donovan’s Pub. Last February, to push the effort forward, they hosted a Toll House Pie-eating contest at the Colgate Inn — a fundraising celebration and competition that has become an annual right of passage since its inauguration by the Class of 2007. (Watch the video on our video console.)
As of April 27, seniors have achieved 74 percent participation on their gift. They are rapidly gaining on the all-time record of 94 percent, set last year by the Class of 2008.
In true Colgate fashion, our seniors have taken charge. On March 8, the Colgate Annual Fund, which coordinates the class gift program, called on the entire student body to switch gears, give thanks, and ask for the support of our alumni community during Tuition Free Day.
Tuition covers 67 percent of the university’s operating budget. For the balance, Colgate turns to a variety of sources, including the alumni family. Students came together at the Coop last month to highlight the fact that tuition was no longer supporting their academic experience. From that day — through finals week — they have been relying on the generosity of others. See the video at Colgate.edu.
These events, and several others that will be held before the end of our fiscal year on May 31, prove that Colgate’s history and its future rest on philanthropy. In the words of Eric Katz ’10, “it signifies the fact that people who graduated from here last year, the year before — 50 years ago — still care about the school.”