Each graduating class is given a fundraising challenge to encourage students to give back to the Kenyon community and stay active with the College after graduation. The class of 2014 exceeded expectations, smashing the record for participation in years past.
The graduating seniors reached an impressive 85 percent participation rate in their contributions to the Senior Gift – money donated by the senior class to the Kenyon Fund – surpassing previous class rates that ranged from 33 to 61 percent.
The senior class seemed particularly energized by two challenges. First, an anonymous donor told the class that if they hit a 60 percent participation rate, $10,000 would be donated in their name to be used specifically for the new summer internship stipend fund. When the class readily hit that mark, President Sean Decatur made another challenge: He would contribute $5,000 of his own money if the class surpassed an 85 percent participation rate. And they did.
To date, almost $18,000 has been collected, said Ryan Stewart, director of class giving. “We are very pleased,” said Stewart. “It was a staggeringly successful campaign.”
Sean Grant ’14, along with Leslie Martin ’14, spearheaded the challenge from the student side, arranging fundraising events at the Village Inn, Peirce Hall and the College Bookstore. Grant said focusing on the participation rate instead of the actual dollar amount was key. “The biggest thing when I was trying to get people to donate was it doesn’t matter how much you give. It just matters that you give,” he said.
Anyone in the class of 2014 who has not yet donated can do so at gift.kenyon.edu until June 30 to be counted toward the Senior Gift.