By Stephanie A. Rodriguez
The Development Office was very pleased to read the personal opinion of the Logos editor, Katie Bosworth regarding the Senior Class Campaign in the March issue.
We realize that just as she has misinterpreted how the Senior Class Campaign benefits the university as whole, probably other graduating students have done so, too. So, we would like to clarify some of these general misconceptions she spoke about.
The Development Office understands most students at any given school think just as Ms. Bosworth: “I haven’t walked the stage and yet people already have their hands in my pockets.” This is the train of thought of several students at many schools across the nation. But, that’s the reason why all universities have a Senior Class Campaign (or what is also commonly known as a Senior Legacy Campaign at other universities), to teach students how significant their donation is to their university.
The purpose of this campaign is to educate students on the power and impact of making a symbolic donation in honor of their graduation year ($20.14), and prepare them to become future UIW supporters. As Ms. Bosworth stated when expressing her opinion, students are asked “to donate a small amount of money right before you are about to graduate.” She is right! Senior Class Campaign is not focused on the dollar amount, but instead focuses on the number of participants; this is why we ask for $20.14 or whatever amount you can afford. Every donation counts and quickly adds up!
In return for this symbolic donation of $20.14, the Development Office gifts students with a Senior Class Campaign lapel pin they can wear on their graduation gown, and also sends out “Thank YOU” cards to the students’ honorees. When donating, we encourage our students to designate their honorees, that is, people who have been supportive throughout their college years. These special supporters will receive a “Thank YOU” card expressing the students’ gratitude on how thankful and appreciative they are for that person’s commitment to their education. Honorees typically range from, but are not limited to, Mom and Dad, family members, faculty, classmates, or any other person (NOTE: The Development Office sends this card when they provide their honoree’s mailing address).
There seems to be a very big misconception about where the money goes. The money goes where the student designates his/her gift. When making a donation, we ask every student to designate his/her contribution. We know students are proud about being UIW Cardinals, but have a higher affinity for the department or school from which they are graduating. That is why we encourage each student to give back to his/her department or school. They decide what area their donation will benefit. Keep in mind that more than 92 percent of UIW students benefit from some sort of financial assistance, and this is how that money is raised — through graduating seniors, alumni, and other donors from our community.
Another misconception to set straight is how Cardinal Pride is measured. As the Senior Class Campaign email explains, we are NOT measuring the Cardinal Pride of each school based on the dollar amount raised. Instead, it is measured by participation rate. In other words, the higher the number of participating classmates in the campaign, the higher a school’s pride will rank. As previously mentioned, the campaign focuses on the participation rate, not dollar amount raised.
Every student’s contribution to the Senior Class Campaign is more than just financial assistance. It sends a meaningful message – you are thankful and happy with the education you received at UIW. So, a higher participation rate equates to higher rankings for UIW, and the higher UIW ranks the more appealing your degree will be to potential employers and graduate schools.
We truly hope that after learning these facts, you will consider making a donation through the Senior Class Campaign to the area you would like to help. Every donor, whether alumni, UIW friend or current student, reserves the right to designate his/her donation. So, give whatever you can afford!
Regardless of size, every donation counts as a vote of satisfaction for the education you received and will help increase not only your school’s Cardinal Pride, but most importantly the value of your UIW degree.
E-mail Rodriguez, development officer at the University of the Incarnate Word, at firstname.lastname@example.org