Seniors leave mark on campus with gifts, scholarships, aid

Every year, the Geneseo campus undergoes new improvements, additions and projects. While often funded by the college's budget, there is one benefactor group that often goes overlooked – the senior class.

Much of what students pass or use every day on campus is provided by graduating senior classes who raise money each year to contribute to the senior gift fund. The class of 2005 provided the statue of the Roman goddess Minerva that greets students entering Milne. Other alumni generously donated the patios near the upper level of the College Union and outside of Sturges Hall. Other donations include the famous pendulum in the Integrated Science Center and the "Valley, Village, College" exhibit that wraps around the circular Newton Hall walkway.

The annual senior donations also provide for more behind-the-scenes gifts as well. Student scholarships are a popular gift, generally ranging from $250 - $500 each. A portion of the senior gift fund paid for many of the new trees growing in the Roemer Arboretum, as well as plenty of bushes and trees all over campus. Furniture in Erwin Hall, Milne and the Union is also maintained and augmented through senior contributions.

Recently, the senior gift has gone toward the Make Your Mark campaign. This campaign allows donating seniors to choose exactly where their money goes, whether it's toward sports teams, any of the assorted college clubs, undergraduate research or study abroad programs. While the gift isn't going to a singular, noticeable, common project like the Minerva statue, the 2010 class succeeded in raising more money – nearly $5,300 – than those of ‘07, ‘08 and ‘09 combined. 

While they're sometimes overlooked, donations from past senior classes reside all over campus, and even those that can't be seen leave an important mark on the students of Geneseo. Even the carillon bells that ring from the Sturges clock tower were upgraded by the senior gift. Next time you hear them, think about how much every graduating class does for the school, and maybe even about contributing yourself.

For more information about getting in on the senior gift, visit