April 25, 2013
Famous Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel once said, “You have to begin to lose your memory, if only bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all.” Many of us graduating seniors at Hamilton define our four years here by the amazing experiences that we all have had and the memories that we will never forget.
We can all recall blushing as we first laid eyes on our varsity streaking team, our first bite of Opus’s famed Mango Brie Panini, our first housing lottery number (and how far we were willing to go to not have to live in Bundy) and our first existential crisis when we registered for a 9 a.m. class. However, all of the great moments that we have experienced at Hamilton could not have been made possible without the existence of our gifts and the gifts of other Hamiltonians before us.
Senior Gifts have played a very significant role in how the campus has operated in the past as well as how it operates today. Here are some examples of what the past Senior Gifts have contributed to the campus: benches, bleachers, a scoreboard for the swimming pool, funding for Trust Treat, the high ropes course and more scholarships. Moreover, Senior Gifts have also made the campus more wheelchair accessible and more environmentally sustainable. The Senior Gift for 2013, as voted for by the majority of Hamilton seniors, is an all-purpose outdoor sports court.
While seeing “Class of 2013” on an outdoor court is already reason enough to want to donate to the Senior Gift, or knowing that the Class of 2013 sponsored the largest physical gift in Hamilton’s history, there are other more important reasons why participation benefits you even if you only give a small amount.
First of all, when donating to the Senior Gift fund, you can directly influence future administrative decisions. For the first time ever, seniors have two choices when making a contribution to their Senior Gift: the outdoor court or the Annual Fund.
Contributing to the Annual Fund gives you the option of specifying how you want the Administration to use the money. For example, you can direct your money towards scholarships, improving Greek life, a new athletics initiative or even annual on-campus golf cart races (no guarantee that the Administration will say yes). By contributing, you let the Administration of Hamilton College know exactly what priorities are important to you and exactly what you think the Administration should focus on.
Second of all, our legacy is at stake. Every single senior class from 1994 to the bicentennial class have all surpassed a 90 percent participation rate. By continuing the legacy of the 90 percent participation rate, we are encouraging graduating students to give back to their community and support the improvement of their campus. Furthermore, we unite our class in the spirit of love for what will very soon be our our alma mater. More importantly, we could guarantee our spot as the 20th class in a row to achieve the 90 percent participation rate (getting even closer to that lucky number 21).
What’s most important about Senior Gift is that students participate at all, not wwhow much money they choose to donate. While it is certainly true that more money would be more helpful, there is another reason why our class aims for a bare minimum of 90 percent participation.
Our distinguished commander-in-chief, Joan Hinde Stewart, has graciously offered to add $4,000 from “the presidential pocket” towards our Senior Gift when we achieve our 90 percent participation rate. As of this moment, our class is very close to 90 percent but May 6 (the deadline for when we have to have reached 90 percent) is also not far away. So, if you have yet to give to our Senior Gift, help us continue our class legacy and donate $5.00 or more at hamilton.edu/makeagift.