Graduates Leave a Legacy Posted on September 1st, 2009 by

Graduating seniors signing a wall in the tunnels beneath Gustavus.

Graduating seniors signing a wall in the tunnels beneath Gustavus.

By Amy McMullan ’10

Four years ago, the students in the Class of 2009 drove up the hill with their cars packed and their parents in tow. They were welcomed into the Gustavus community by an excited group of Gustie Greeters, as they moved their belongings into their residence halls for the first time. At that time, none of them could be certain how Gustavus would affect their lives or how they would impact Gustavus.

When the 608 members of the Class of 2009 graduated in May, they made a special mark on the Gustavus community with record-setting Senior Class Legacy giving to the Gustavus Annual Fund. The graduating class rallied during its senior year to achieve the highest level of giving participation with 56.9 percent of the class making a contribution. The Class of 2009 also raised more than $8,000 for its senior class gift—the highest total in the past decade.

Following a Gustavus tradition established more than a century ago, senior class giving shows the graduates’ commitment to the future success of Gustavus. Each graduating class chooses the designee for its gift. This year, the class chose to give to the Gustavus Annual Fund, which helps the College in multiple ways including funding numerous student scholarships (both merit- and need- based); enabling for campus environmental initiatives; and providing for faculty development opportunities.

The Gustie community is constantly being talked about, and I think supporting the Gustavus Fund fits right into that—other community members supported my way through college and now it is my turn to turn around and do that for someone else,” said Holly Andersen ’09 and co-chair of the Senior Class Legacy committee.

“As important as it is to get high participation in the senior class gifts, it is even more important to
ensure that our alumni are active in their continuing efforts to support Gustavus. The reason why we have such a tight-knit community here is because we have strong roots that run decades deep, touching countless graduates that once called the hill ‘home,'” said Chris Stewart ’10.

This spring when it was evident that the Class of 2009 was setting a record, President Jack R. Ohle and the Board of Trustees donated an additional $2,009 to the fund on behalf of the class. Also, the 50-year reunion class, the Class of 1959, contributed $1,000 to the Senior Class Legacy fund, bringing the 2009 grand total to $8,024.43.

I’ve always been impressed with my class’s penchant to step up for things that are important to us. I think it says a lot that we were able to break these records while fundraising efforts nationwide are facing the challenges of this economy,” said Tony Spain ’09.

As a thank you, participating seniors were allowed to leave their mark in the Gustavus tunnels. On May 26, 2009, Senior Class Legacy contributors toured the Gustavus tunnels and signed the wall.


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