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Class of 2010 picks legacy gift

Irena Zajickova | Thursday, February 4, 2010

 Last year, students and alumni signed a petition asking for renovations and improvements to the Hesburgh Library. Next year, their cause will get some added help in the form of the Class of 2010’s Senior Legacy fund, which will go towards purchasing new books for the library.

Every year, the Student Development Committee (SDC) chooses the beneficiary of the Senior Legacy fund. The 20-member committee asks for suggestions from the senior class, then narrows these down to the three choices they believe would have the most impact on the university.
This year, the three choices were a fund for the library, a fund to assist seniors in traveling to job or graduate school interviews and a study abroad fund to help low-income students that want to study in a foreign country but cannot afford it. Students voted, and the library fund won out.
Senior Emily Everett, SDC co-chair, said the best part of the library fund is that it will benefit every student at Notre Dame since the library is such a widely used and versatile resource.
“I think it’s a gift that benefits every student,” Everett said. “Every student goes to the library at some point during their career so I think it’s a gift that will benefit everyone at Notre Dame.”
This year’s senior class is the first one to choose to donate their Senior Legacy funds to the library. Senior Ian Secviar, SDC co-chair, said the recent petition was likely a key reason why seniors chose the library fund over one of the other two choices.
“Part of it was the publicity about the library renovation in addition to the petition that was circulated about library collections falling behind some of our peer institutions, so I think that kept it in a lot of people’s minds,” Secviar said. 
Fundraising will start in March. Every senior will get a letter and a call from Notre Dame’s Call Center asking for a donation. The Web site supporting.nd.edu/seniorlegacy can be used to donate to the Senior Legacy.
Additionally, the Class of 2010 is expected to continue to give to the library fund each year so the library can improve even more.
An added incentive to help the library through the Senior Legacy fund is that only students who do so can be entered in the 2011 football ticket lottery. They will have to give a gift by Dec. 31, 2010 to make it into the lottery.
An additional goal of the SDC with regards to this year’s Senior Legacy is to reach a 100 percent giving rate, where every member of the Class of 2010 makes a donation. 
Secviar said even though Notre Dame ranks high in alumni giving, they do not fare quite so well in the area of senior giving.
“Ideally, we’d like to be up with the Ivy Leagues in terms of senior giving,” Secviar said.
The SDC is trying very hard to achieve this 100 percent giving rate, and Secviar said if every senior participated, it would send a positive message to the Notre Dame community.
“It’d just be a great statement to make, to say that 100 percent of seniors felt compelled enough to give back to something as important as our University library,” Secviar said.
Even if the Class of 2010 falls short of full participation, the Senior Legacy is still a great way to make an impact on the University, according to Secviar.
“The cool thing about senior legacy is it’s a way to leave a mark before you ever leave campus,” Secviar said.
Everett emphasized the importance of helping the University grow, especially since the University has helped seniors so much throughout their time here.
“The school has given us so much and now it’s our turn to give back to them,” Everett said.