Senior class gift: A university tradition

The first known Senior Class Gift at the University of Chicago was the rock in front of Kent Hall, given by the Class of 1898. Other early gifts include the C-shaped bench in front of Cobb from the Class of 1904, the Seal on the Reynold’s Club floor by the Class of 1911, and a short-lived Scholarship Endowment Fund from the Class of 1914. The Senior Class Gift tradition died out until 1988, when that class renewed it by donating a bench by Botany Pond. Since then, every class has unified to make a gift. Below is a list of physical objects and restricted gifts made by each class.

 

1988: Bench by Botany Pond 
1995: Doors to the new Athletic Center
1989: Book Fund for Regenstein Library 1996: Renovation of Botany Pond and Duck Island
1990: Renovation of the now Hutchinson Courtyard Fountain  
1997: Gothic Swing in the Classics Quadrangle
1991: Lampposts for the Classics Quadrangle 1998: Dean's Discretionary Fund for Study Abroad and Internships
1992: Sexual Violence Prevention Resource Center 1999: Fund for the Support of College Faculty
1993: Redbud trees in the Social Sciences Quadrangle 2000: Book Fund for Literature and Popular Fiction
1994: Clock in front of Regenstein Library 2001: Fine Arts Fund

 The Class of 2002 decided to take a new route. Rather than create a physical object, which would require additional funds to upkeep, they decided to put their donation towards the College Fund, a fund dedicated to sustaining and enhancing general student life and from which almost every student has benefited. Since then, every class has put their gift towards the College Fund. Participation has steadily increased over the last decade, allowing student opportunities to grow.

In 2014, the students decided to celebrate philanthropy by expanding their gift to include other areas of the University in addition to the College Fund. Seniors now support the College Fund, the Dean's Fund, Odyssey Scholarships, and the Jeff Metcalf Internship Program.

Class of 2002
52%
Class of 2003
50%
Class of 2004
56%
Class of 2005
58%
Class of 2006
68%
Class of 2007
71%
Class of 2008
77%
Class of 2009
80%
Class of 2010
81%
Class of 2011
76%
Class of 2012
80%
Class of 2013
73%
Class of 2014
78%
Class of 2015
80%
Class of 2016
74%

class of 2017 participation

GOAL: 1,100 DONORS

 

958

as of 6/7/2017
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