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Senior class gift combines two years

Perhaps under varied names, organizations created in order to collect donations from a departing senior class for honoring Millersville University, have been around since 1866.

Since then, clocks, brick-layed walk-ways, water-fountains, pillars, welcome walls and so many other structures have been erected in honor of years of yore’s Alma Mater, Millersville University.

Last year’s senior class (2007-2008) fell short of their goal of $40,000, which was to be raised to erect a Marauder statue somewhere in the vicinity of the Student Memorial Center.

The senior class managed to raise just over $16,000 toward the statue, while the Senior Gift Project, headed by a half-dozen seniors, did not give up the goal.

International Education Week

Instead of giving up on the goal, this year’s seniors are simply continuing it, making it a “combined 2008-2009 class gift”, according to Jimmy Bartlett, development assistant with the Development Department at the Duncan Alumni House.

Bartlett facilitates the SFP in its endeavors—charity events, educational events, etc., along with the office of Student Affairs. Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Phillip Riordan heads the efforts from the SA.

“The goal of the project is to introduce students to the idea of giving back to the University that has given them the foundation of their future and career. It’s teaching philanthropy,” Bartlett said.

Countless seniors over the more than 150 years of the University’s history have devoted incalculable efforts and time to ensuring something that says “We were here,” as Bartlett puts it, and this year Don Brennan, Jerry Broniec, Allison Hengst, Amanda Husser, Blair Miller, Josh Mooney and Nate Moser, all seniors, have been the main muscle behind the SGP.

Rogers, a club representative and organizer of the SGP, expressed great pride in his efforts and the direction of the project in general.

He mentioned that the organization is organizing a street team, which he said goes out and does the leg-work before fundraisers and events.

Last year’s methods of raising funds for the project were virtually the same as this year’s, Rogers said, because they are social events, like a “black and gold affair, where people get dressed up,” he said, but the events themselves are being changed.

Rogers believes that the changes in theme of the activities will make a big difference.
He mentioned that, like last year, there will probably be events like a comedy show, book donation, raffle or just donation events, but this year the organization is brainstorming about charity runs and half-court-shot competitions, and recruiting local businesses for aid.

A “Reality Check” event, centered on the post-graduation professional world, will involve wine-tasting, dinner etiquette, business etiquette, mortgage information and finance for graduating seniors later this year.

Rogers mentioned that while the organization wants to raise money toward its final goal of a senior gift; its focus, he feels, should and actually is on education and post-graduation preparation. The rest will follow.

“I think a lot of us realize that we have gotten a lot from Millersville,” began Rogers, in regard to why he thinks seniors will support a senior gift project.

“We’ve cherished our time while we were here. [The gift is] something significant that adds to the traditions of the University—to leave our mark.”

Blair Miller is also an organization representative for the SGP. “Each graduating class brings something special to Millersville through the people and their individual talents, so in turn they should leave something behind to remind future classes that they were here,” Miller said. “This project means to me that my mark has been made, and I’m giving back to Millersville whether I’m donating 50 cents or 50 dollars.”

Seniors can donate any amount toward the combined 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 senior class gift by visiting www.villealumni.com or stopping by the Duncan Alumni House on George Street.