University of Delaware
Pictured are Senior Class Gift Council members (from left, standing) Emily Bellotti (co-chair), Charlene Garcia (co-chair), Arielle DeMarco, Carina Gomez and Lauren Huston, and (from left, sitting) Gabby Wambolt, Nikolas Schreiber, Carissa McKinney and Cedric Steenberghs. Not pictured are council members Dominic Campagnola, Kay Cho, Madison DeFrank, Ruby Harrington, Laura Van der Post, Brielle Gerry, Katie Orth and Elizabeth  Murphy Penczak.

Senior class gift

Senior Class Gift Council reflects on opportunities UD has provided


9:08 a.m., May 8, 2014--May is a busy month for University of Delaware seniors. Between studying for finals, decorating graduation caps and wondering how they’ll survive without Newark Deli and Bagels, it can be hard to find any downtime.

Yet, as graduation day approaches, a small group of seniors have made time to reflect on the opportunities they’ve received and to ask their student peers to do the same. As members of the Senior Class Gift Council, they have been working together for the past few months to encourage other seniors to express their appreciation for UD by donating to the Senior Class Gift. 

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The council planned several outreach events to support this campaign, including a launch party at Kildare’s Irish Pub on March 5 and the ’14 on The Green event on April 28.

Co-chair Charlene Garcia, a nursing major, said that she was motivated to get involved with the council out of a desire to give back to the campus organizations that have benefited her and prepared her for life after graduation. 

Garcia said she believes that groups she participated in while at UD, including the Student Alumni Ambassadors and the Student Nurses Organization, could benefit from more resources. 

Traveling to Jamaica on a UD Alternative Break trip this spring further solidified Garcia’s desire to give back. She said she chose to designate her donation to similar service trips in the future with the hope of lessening the financial burden for other students.

The Senior Class Gift Campaign set a goal to raise $20,000 for the University, with contributions from 30 percent of seniors. Garcia advises seniors not to wait to make a gift. 

“You can definitely give back at a later time, but delaying a contribution may also delay the expansion of the program, department or organization you are most passionate about,” said Garcia. 

Garcia also notes that those who give back before May 10 will be invited to join UD President Patrick Harker at a special reception barbecue at the President’s House. 

Seniors are encouraged to make a spirit gift of $20.14 to celebrate their graduation year and can choose to direct their contribution to any of 2,200 separate causes and programs, including Greek life, a specific college, or a student group. 

Donations can be made online using the mobile-friendly site,, or in person at the Office of Development at 83 East Main Street, on the third floor above the Barnes and Noble University of Delaware Bookstore. 

Article by Rachel Nass

Photo by Evan Krape

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