Seniors pledge gifts

by Jack Vaitayanonta | 6/12/94 5:00am

More than half of this year's graduating class pledged money to the Senior Gifts Program, for a total of $95,326.

The Program began in 1980 as a way to introduce recent graduates to the Alumni Fund, which raises money annually from alumni, Mitch Jacobs '94, an Alumni Fund intern said.

Each year's senior gift is pooled with other alumni classes' contributions to the Alumni Fund, which pays close to 20 percent of the College's operating costs, including professors' salaries, facilities maintenance and financial aid.

Although, fewer people, about 55 percent of the class, donated this year than in past years, individual donors gave more on the average.

The Class of 1993 raised $93,684. Fifty-nine percent of their class pledged money, Assistant Director of the Alumni Fund Joe Whitworth '91 said.

This year the program offered seniors four different plans: a pledge of $694 over four years, $369 over four years or $214 over four years, or an individually created plan.

The Program changed from a one-year to a four-year donation period last year to reduce administrative costs and make it easier for alumni fund workers to track down recent alumni, Whitworth said.

The Program received gifts which spanned the entire spectrum between the largest, a handful who pledged $694, and the smallest gift, a pledge of $10, Whitworth said.

Along with Jacobs, seniors Betsy Hawkanson, Kristin Lester and Chris Umscheid ran the Gifts Program.

Seniors expressed reservations about donating to the program for different reasons, Jacobs said.

Some seniors did not feel secure about their financial status in the next four years, others wanted to donate to specific organizations, and others disliked the political leanings of the administration, faculty or the Board of Trustees, he said.

Some people said 'no' because they simply did not enjoy their College experience, Jacobs added.

"People have to understand it's important to give to Dartmouth. If Dartmouth can't operate, then all of the clubs and organizations will have problems as well," Jacobs said.

The seniors do not have to donate their first gift until June 30, 1995. This allows the recent graduates to feel secure in their financial status before they feel obligated to send in the funds, Jacobs said.