Lehigh’s Class of 2014 left their mark on the university by raising more than $18,000 for their Senior Class Gift and adding 126 new members to the Asa Packer Society
—the most undergraduate students who have joined the leadership giving society in the last three years.
“It is important for students to give back, because no matter how small or large the gift is, it is a vote of confidence that they believe in the direction of the school and want to make it a better place,” said Nadia Krook, ’14, vice president of giving senior class officer. “Understanding the impact of a gift is powerful as it allows the next Lehigh generations to benefit from the opportunities that we were able to take advantage of during our college careers.”
The Asa Packer Society, named for Lehigh’s entrepreneurial founder, is comprised of alumni, students, and friends who have provided outstanding financial support to the university. Alumni who make a gift of $250 prior to their fifth reunion year become members and are recognized as Young Alumni Leaders. All members enjoy special benefits, including invitations to exclusive events and access to the powerful Lehigh network. Thanks to a generous 3:1 matching gift from the Parents’ Council, students could join the Asa Packer Society with a donation of $62.50.
Two hundred and forty-four seniors who made a gift of $20 or above, often exactly $20.14, were recognized as members of the 2014 Club.
Krook mentioned that a big part of this year’s campaign was making students aware that their gifts could count towards any aspect of campus life they felt passionately about. Students donated to the general Lehigh Fund, in support of scholarships and financial aid, or to the campus department or organization they felt had most impacted their college experience. Greek chapters, student clubs, and sports teams were some of the most popular choices for student giving.
To keep the campaign momentum going, the Senior Class Gift committee hosted a variety of giving events on and off campus throughout the year including a fundraiser at the burrito restaurant Chipotle, a favorite student eatery. By far, the most successful donor event was the gift kick-off in October, held in STEPS, Lehigh’s interdisciplinary environmental science and research facility. One hundred and fifty-two members of the graduating class made their gifts to the university throughout the evening’s festivities.
“More than 400 seniors attended the senior class gift kick-off,” said Melissa Casey, senior associate director of mass marketing for the Lehigh Fund. “The event generated excitement for the campaign and gave the committee members a chance to interact with their peers and talk about philanthropy.”
The Senior Class Gift has been a Lehigh tradition for decades, as both a way for students to thank a faculty or staff member who made their Lehigh experience special, and to help ensure that future Lehigh alums have access to the same opportunities and resources.
“It was an awesome year working with my fellow class officers and the Senior Class Gift committee to educate students about giving,” Krook added. “It was great to see them excited about making a difference in something they believe in.”