Legacy Grants Provide New Opportunity For Students
Students Should Take Advantage Of Behrakis' $25,000 For Students With Innovative Projects
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 21:10
As a result of last year’s record-breaking senior gift, Drake Behrakis, trustee and BC ’86, has donated $25,000 to be distributed to BC students, intending for the funds to be put toward “innovative ideas and extraordinary student initiatives.” These Legacy Grants, valued up to $2,500 per project, are to be awarded in three installments in 2014.
The donation was made by Behrakis after the successful completion of a challenge he made to last year’s senior class to break the previous record for total number of “senior gifts.” The Class of 2013 raised 1,458 gifts, breaking the record for class participation.
The deadline to apply for the first wave of Legacy Grants is Dec. 1, and the initial decision will be made within 10 days of this deadline. The application requires students to request an amount for the award they are looking to receive, and explain how a particular student-project or campus group could create value on campus with that requested grant, putting it toward BC’s Jesuit mission of “men and women for others,” and prescribing to “the University’s commitment to excellence.”
A notable characteristic of the Legacy Grants is their availability to any individual BC student who has an idea, not just those who are working through a Registered Student Organization. The guidelines set by Behrakis are broad, his only requirements being a promise of innovation and a valuable outcome from the proposed projects. These financial awards are practical, and complement the efforts of other initiatives on campus that award money exclusively to business startups or research initiatives. The Legacy Grants establish a precedent for students to receive money for ideas that do not necessarily fit into either of these traditional categories for funding, and also gives additional opportunities for traditional projects.
Behrakis’ deal with the class of 2013 clearly worked as an incentive for students to reach their fundraising goal. Although the number of gifts is not always indicative of total giving, using it to define a goal allows students of all economic backgrounds to work together toward a given benchmark quantity of donations. This type of bargain should be extended to future classes graduating from BC, as it enlivens the tradition of senior giving, infusing into it a competitive element that encourages participation across the board.
Students should take ownership of the opportunity to receive a Legacy Grant. The more applicants, the greater the quality of projects the committee for these grants can pick, and the more positive change that can result as a combination of a single alumni donation and an entire student body’s initiative and creativity.