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Senior Gift Team Shoots For The Record

Class Of 2013 Aims For 1,300 Total Donors

For The Heights

Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

“This year the class has been issued a unique challenge from University Trustee Drake Behrakis [BC ’86]: reach 1,300 donors and set a new BC record,” said Kaitlin Vigars, assistant director of annual giving at Boston College and BC ’08. “If the class reaches this milestone, Drake will give the University $25,000 to fund student programs and activities.” Vigars and other members of the campus community kicked off this year’s senior gift campaign last week. The campaign will run through the end of May 2013.

Unlike a traditional fundraiser, the senior gift campaign focuses on specific contributions by members of the current graduating class toward BC-sponsored courses of study, organizations, and activities. A tradition that has existed in some capacity at BC since the early 1960s, the senior gift campaign has allowed generations of students to impact the aspects of campus life that are most important to them. Pablo Beiro, A&S ’13, explained the senior gift campaign’s efforts to continue this tradition through the class of 2013.

 “Our main message is that it’s not so much an amount that counts, but we really try to stress the fact that by giving a gift back to BC, you’re showing how much the institution gave to you,” Beiro said. By focusing on large-scale involvement from the senior class rather than higher average gift donations, the campaign strives not only to benefit a larger array of campus programs but also to meet Behrakis’s challenge.

“The $25,000 that Drake has pledged will be given out in specific increments once we hit certain milestones,” Beiro said. “Since our total goal is to get contributions from 55 percent of the senior class, we’ll get the first $5,000 once we get 10 percent participation.”
Vigars went on to offer an explanation of how the potential donations from Behrakis will be used.

“This money will be used to establish ‘The Class of 2013 Legacy Grants,’” Vigars said. “This program will be available next academic year for students to apply for grant funding to help implement new student projects and bring to fruition innovative ideas that speak to the University mission.”
Since all potential impacts upon the BC community through the senior gift campaign are contingent upon involvement from current seniors, the committee recommends a number of ways to get involved. Board members advise seniors to visit the campaign’s website at bc.edu/seniorgift to make a donation toward any campus cause that they feel passionate about and to follow the campaign’s Twitter account for updates throughout the year.

More than anything, however, committee members stressed the importance of seniors spreading the word to their peers to ensure that each member of the outgoing class recognizes the importance of giving back to the most memorable aspects of their BC careers.

Behrakis, the alumnus responsible for putting forth this year’s unique challenge, hinted at perhaps the most powerful reason seniors would be motivated to donate a senior gift: a lifelong sense of connection to the BC community resulting from the act of giving back.

“Graduating from BC is a major accomplishment, but leaving the Heights also represents a major life change,” he said. “Change can be complicated, but hopefully by connecting with alumni at this stage in the year, seniors will be a little comforted to know that you can, in fact, always come home.”

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