Three distinct groups break records for giving to Centre
June 10, 2010 By Abby Malik
senior giving. More than half of the class contributed to the Senior
More than 50 percent of Centre parents have given to the College
this year. They also show their support for Centre by attending
events (such as Family Weekend, above) throughout the year.
It’s a well-known fact that Centre College alumni have always been loyal when it comes to giving back to their alma mater. Now, two more groups have joined the ranks with alumni for extraordinary giving to the College: the Class of 2010 and parents of current Centre students.
These three groups have, during this fiscal year, currently given to the College at rates of more than 50 percent.
Parent giving is at 54 percent, something that Shawn Lyons ’81, associate vice president for development and alumni affairs, says is indicative of something special when it comes to the Centre experience.
“That fact that more than half of parents of current Centre students have given to the College this year is a sign that we’re doing something right. Alumni giving means that former students are pleased with their past experiences as students and that they feel good about how Centre prepared them.”
He continues: “Parent giving, on the other hand, is unique because it lets us know that what Centre is doing right now meets with their approval. Parents are giving above and beyond what they’re asked to pay for their child to attend Centre. Gifts to the Parent Fund allow us to offer services and programs that enrich the experiences of their students beyond what we could provide otherwise.”
The Class of 2010 has broken the record for senior giving. A little more than half of this year’s graduating class contributed to the Senior Class Gift, which provides money for a need-based scholarship that will be given to a student who may face a sudden financial hardship, leaving him or her otherwise unable to complete their Centre Experience.
And, for the first time ever, Centre president John Roush and his wife, Susie, matched this amount dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000, bringing the combined total to more than $10,000.
“In the last few years, the Senior Gift program has really taken off,” says James Barnard, assistant director of annual giving. “This year, however, we felt it was time to take it to the next level. A challenge from the Roushes seemed like the perfect solution. Students want to know how their gifts will help and why they should make the gift; seeing the President step up like this sends a clear message. It gives him a chance to show the students just how important this program is and how much he supports it.”
Giving for overall alumni is currently at 51 percent. Centre alumni still have a chance to meet the “Second Mile” challenge for the Centre Fund before the fiscal-year deadline of June 30: An anonymous donor (the same donor who created the recently met “One Million Reasons to Give Challenge”) will match every gift from Centre alumni between now and June 30 on a two-to-one basis, regardless of the size of the gift.
With alumni participation in annual giving currently at 51 percent, the hope is that this challenge will encourage alumni who haven’t yet made their gift to the Centre Fund to do so prior to June 30 and help Centre reach 60 percent alumni participation and be in contention for the number one spot in alumni giving.