UNCW to seniors: ‘Cash, Please’
Published: Monday, March 14, 2011
Updated: Monday, March 14, 2011 11:03
If you are a senior, you have undoubtedly been bombarded with email and phone calls about contributing to the senior class gift. The annual gift to the university has provided UNCW with items such as the clock tower (2000), the water feature in the Fisher Student Center (2006), and the aquarium in Randall Library (2008). So what will students be providing the UNCW campus with this year? A check.
Yes, UNCW is just asking for money. No gaudy sculptures or statues. No water fountains or structures. UNCW wants what it has been taking from you for four years: cash.
But what this senior class gift lacks in pizzazz, it makes up in practicality. Seniors who wish to participate in the gift have the choice of where to spend their money. Seniors can give directly to a specific area or department such as The Cameron School of Business, The Center for Marine Science, The College of Arts & Sciences, The College of Health and Human Services, Graduate Programs, and The Watson School of Education.
Donations can also go to specific student programs, including international programs, the Division of Student Affairs, Williams Madison Randall Library, The Seahawk Club (which supports athletics), Honors Scholars, and The Office of Campus Diversity. Seniors can also donate directly to the UNCW Fund, which is an unrestricted source of funding that areas that are needed the most. According to the Campaign for UNCW, "Unrestricted gifts allow the university the ability to take on new opportunities, strengthen ongoing programs and meet immediate and critical academic needs that are not met by other funding."
The evolution of the senior class gift is similar to a child's birthday. When you are young and money isn't important, you want shinny toys to play with and show off to your friends. But eventually you get to the age where all you ask for is money. Well it looks like UNCW is growing up, or is at least strapped for cash.
This type of senior class gift isn't new to UNCW. In 2008 seniors had the choice to either donate to the Randall Library aquarium or to donate to a specific area of UNCW. 64 percent of those who donated chose the aquarium, while 36 percent chose to support other areas of campus.
Then in 2009 and 2010 seniors were encouraged to donate to a specific area of campus or the UNCW Fund. 2009 was the most successful year in terms of senior giving; 25 percent of seniors participated and over $13,000 was raised.
So far over 250 seniors have donated this year, which is 10.2 percent participation. The Campaign for UNCW is hoping to break the 25 percent mark set in 2009.
I don't want to you to confuse this editorial as a plea to contribute to the senior class gift; I won't be contributing. It will be years before I begin giving back to the university. But if you are someone who is planning on giving, the options students have to donate money are more varied and impactful than ever.