The importance of philanthropy is a message driven home throughout a student’s time at Centre College. President John A. Roush speaks often about the need to give back to organizations, like Centre, that have made “a meaningful impact on our lives.” The College’s loyal alumni have consistently answered that call, leading the nation for the past three decades with their annual support of the College.
Today, March 17, Centre will once again ask its alumni, parents and friends to rise to the challenge in order to meet a goal set by a College trustee through a one-day Fund the Flame campaign. If Centre can secure 750 gifts between midnight and 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, then the anonymous trustee will donate $150,000 to the College. All gifts count—big and small—including gifts by those who have already made their annual contribution.
“Challenges like this one are a great way for the Centre family to increase the impact of their gifts,” says Krista Rinehart, assistant director of annual giving. “Often people shy away from giving until they think they can make a gift that’s ‘big enough’ to matter, yet this campaign is the perfect example of how individual gifts received—no matter the size—can combine to make a real impact in the life of the College.”
In addition to raising Centre Fund dollars, Fund the Flame will spark friendly competition between the College’s athletic teams, who will likely play a large role in the day’s success. Coaches and athletes are being encouraged to participate by making calls to friends and alumni for gifts to help meet the challenge. Those making gifts online have the opportunity to give their favorite sport credit for their gift as well. The teams that raise the most Centre Fund dollars and gifts, and who have the largest percentage of their alumni make a gift, will each receive $500 for their team fund.
“A day like this, with so much on the line, is naturally exciting,” explains Laura Coleman Pritchard, director of campaign communications. “But, this year, the ‘friendly rivalry’ among the players and coaches will definitely add to the electric atmosphere.
“Also, I don’t want to give too much away, but there may be some new Fat Heads of a familiar and beloved campus figure floating around after the one-day challenge,” she adds.
Leading up to Tuesday’s Fund the Flame event, the College emphasized the importance of giving back though last week’s “Tuition Free” awareness campaign. The week marked the point in the school year at which Centre would have to turn out the lights without private gifts, as tuition and fees only cover 75 percent of the Centre experience and private gifts make up the difference.
“Clearly, philanthropy makes a profound impact on the life of the College,” says Jacky Thomas Seaver, director of annual giving.
“The multitude of gold bows and gift tags highlighting landmarks across campus serve as a visual reminder that those things exist because of private gifts,” she goes on to explain. “This includes boutonnieres on faculty members and students who have endowed professorships and endowed scholarships, respectively, as well as bows on campus buildings, trees and athletics facilities.
“Many of these things and people would not be here without the generosity of alumni, parents and friends of the College. We invite you to demonstrate this generosity again on Tuesday, March 17 as you make a gift to Fund the Flame.”