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Seniors to choose ‘Legacy’ gift

Aaron Steiner | Monday, November 24, 2008

The senior class has an opportunity to leave a legacy that goes beyond their stories, achievements and memories. The Senior Legacy gift will leave a lasting impact on the University by aiding students in unpaid internships, strengthening community relations through a gift to the Center for Social Concerns, or growing the size of an Eco-Fund to help sustainability initiatives.

Seniors are currently voting on the three options for the class gift, known this year as the Senior Legacy. Joe Gagnon, a senior and co-chair of the Student Development Committee, said that the committee had a few ideas of their own, and hear suggestions from others.

“[The committee] voted among the ideas, and selected the top three,” Gagnon said. The committee is comprised of about 30 undergraduate students, mostly students.

Now, the senior class can vote online – until November 30 – among those three choices: creation of the Unpaid Internship Fund, a gift to the Eco-Fund and planting one tree, or a gift to the CSC for community based projects.

“Two of the gifts are expanding on things that already exist,” Gagnon said.

The Eco-Fund was created by a gift from the Class of 2008, he said. The fund helps to pay for sustainability initiatives on campus. The donation would double the size of the fund.

The gift to the CSC was something many committee members felt strongly about, Gagnon said.

“A lot of people on the committee really stressed wanting to improve relations with the community,” he said. The one-time gift would be used to fund community-based projects.

The final gift would create a new program at Notre Dame – the Unpaid Internship Fund. The fund was an idea that the committee developed with the Career Center.

“You’d apply to the Career Center if your internship is unpaid,” Gagnon said. The stipends provided through the fund would help cover living costs.

The Senior Legacy is used to directly address something that students see a need for, Gagnon said.

“We feel like we’ve been here four years, and we’re in the best position to say, what’s missing” or “what doesn’t get enough attention, or needs more attention,” Gagnon said.

Gagnon said that students can officially contribute to the Senior Legacy until Dec. 31, 2009.

“We will choose our official class gift,” Gagnon said, but seniors can choose to designate a donation for whatever they desire.

“They’re technically contributing to the Senior Legacy if they contribute to their dorm, or something else,” he said.

The Student Development Committee will promote the chosen gift, Gagnon said.

Kevin Marvinac, a senior and the other committee co-chair, said that students can contribute donations of any size.

“It’s really important to give, no matter the gift amount,” he said.

Graduation is an important time to “start giving back to the University that’s given us so much,” he added.

“It’s important as an alumni … to start giving back early,” Marvinac said. “Giving back is one very tangible way that alumni can really stay involved.”

Gagnon added that the focus is not on the amount raised, but the percentage of participation.

“It’s our history that we’re going to leave behind,” Gagnon said. “It’s our way of saying thank you.”