Have You Seen Your Gift?

This spring, members of the Class of 2012 will be reflecting on our time here at Harvard, and looking forward to the adventures and opportunities which lie beyond Commencement.  During the next seven weeks, we will experience a mixture of emotions, including excitement, wistfulness, nostalgia, and joy; so much has happened since that power outage welcomed us to campus.

The Co-Chairs of the Class of 2012 Senior Gift have thoroughly enjoyed our four years at Harvard.  Like many of our classmates, we tremendously value the opportunities we have been given as undergraduates, which have instilled in us a profound sense of gratitude for the College.

We are grateful for professors who have enlightened us; coaches who have pushed us; and friends and roommates who have supported, encouraged, and challenged us.

We cannot reminisce about our own experiences without pausing to thank the Harvard students who preceded us and have chosen to give back to the College. Their generosity supports many parts of undergraduate life and has helped make our Harvard careers possible.

Over the next four weeks, seniors will have the chance to continue this tradition of giving back to Harvard by donating to the Class of 2012 Senior Gift.

Every year, gifts to the Harvard College Fund contribute to the immediate use funds available to the College. Immediate use funds are separate from the endowment—whose funds are restricted to, and designated for, specific purposes—and are not invested.  Donations to senior gift are used right away to support College programs: student life; sophomore advising in the Houses; the Office of the Arts; the Office of International Programs; Lamont Café; athletics; wireless internet; and funding for summer programs like PRISE. Gifts to the Harvard College Fund also fund fellowships, scholarships, and financial aid, ensuring that no worthy student is denied access to a Harvard education.

Harvard needs our support if it is to continue to play a leadership role among universities and as a training ground for future world leaders.

This year, in conjunction with senior gift, we are running a campaign called “My ’12.”  As Commencement approaches, we are asking seniors to think about 12 things they have loved about their time at Harvard: blockmates, favorite professors, summers abroad, artistic endeavors, student groups or clubs, etc.  Because so much of the undergraduate experience relies on immediate use funds, we are asking seniors to then consider giving one dollar for each reason on their lists.

After donating to senior gift, each senior will have the chance to anonymously submit his or her list.  In May, we will compile all the My ’12 submissions to create a larger picture of what made Harvard special for the Class of 2012, and will pass this data along to the administration so they know what our experience has been like, what we have loved about our time here, and what our hopes are for future students.

We, the Co-Chairs of the Class of 2012 Senior Gift, hope students will support many meaningful causes.  Senior gift and future gifts to Harvard should not preclude other philanthropy, but we ask our classmates to donate in order to directly impact current and future undergraduates, who, like us, desire a robust Harvard and will benefit from the resources of the College.

As Commencement approaches, the senior gift team encourages the Class of 2012, inspired by all that has made Harvard great for us, to give back. We ask each senior to think about what has made his or her time at Harvard special, and to consider donating to help guarantee that future generations of Harvard students have just as much to enjoy. We hope that in the weeks ahead, seniors will reach out and engage with house agents and members of the senior gift team, learn about the impact and import of their gifts, and give at least $12 for ’12.

Alex Karabasevic is an economics concentrator in Kirkland House, Maya Peña is a history concentrator in Adams House, Elihu Reynolds is a government concentrator in Adams House, Elliott Rosenbaum is a history concentrator in Quincy House, and Rishabh Sinha is an economics concentrator in Pforzheimer House.  They are the Co-Chairs of the Class of 2012 Senior Gift.

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