February 20th, 2012 | University

Senior Class Gift heads into final stretch

Five residential colleges achieved 100 percent participation in the 2011 Senior Class Gift Campaign. The campaign raised over $40,000, a record.
Five residential colleges achieved 100 percent participation in the 2011 Senior Class Gift Campaign. The campaign raised over $40,000, a record. Photo by Daniel Sisgoreo.

As this year’s Senior Class Gift campaign nears its end, organizers say they’re on track to beat last year’s record of 97 percent participation.

Last Thursday, Kevin Ryan ’85, the CEO of shopping website Gilt Groupe, sponsored a 24-hour challenge in which he pledged funds if the class of 2012 could reach certain participation benchmarks. In a 24-hour period, donations rose from $26,629.93 with 78.5 percent participation to $28,871.30 with 85.4 percent participation. Because the percentage participation surpassed 85 percent, Ryan donated $7,000 to the campaign. Had they surpassed 91 percent or 97 percent, he would have donated $10,000 or $15,000, respectively.

Courtney Fukuda ’12, who co-chairs the Senior Class Gift campaign with Joey Mensah ’12, said the campaign is on track to beat last year’s participation. As of this morning, 87.9 percent of seniors donated a total of $29,256.66; at the same time last year, 83.4 percent of the class of 2011 had donated $35,109. At the end of this year’s 24-hour challenge, only 184 seniors had not donated, Fukuda said.

“At this point, I feel like it took us a while to gain momentum and get people who wanted to give to click the button and do it,” Fukuda said. “I actually think we have a good chance [of beating last year's record].”

Fukuda said she and the other organizers of the campaign will be reaching out to students face-to-face. They’ll also host an event at Box 63 Wednesday night starting at 9 p.m., as a final effort to gather donations before the campaign ends at midnight.