A response to senior giving

RACHEL STANBACK, Member of the Senior Giving Committee

I’ll admit it.

When I first heard about Samford’s senior giving campaign, I scoffed.

“I don’t have time to think about that,” I thought. “Someone else will do that. I’ve already given enough to Samford.”

But what happens when we all adopt that attitude?

As of last week, only four percent of the senior class had made donations to the campaign.

Yes, it’s painful to give. No one likes the idea of opening up their wallet at a time when many of us aren’t sure where our income will be coming from in a matter of weeks.

That’s why no one is asking you to donate a Mr. Beeson-sized amount. When you give $15, $10, even $5 before you graduate, you demonstrate to Samford, in a tangible way, what it has meant to you.

You make it possible for Samford students who follow after you to receive the same experience you’ve had.

Quite simply, it’s not about the amount. It’s about the act of giving.

The senior campaign is not some menacing tactic that Samford dreamed up to drain money from our wallets.

Senior giving campaigns are established traditions at universities across the country. 75 percent of Stanford’s Class of 2013 donated to theirs. Harvard’s Class of 2014 achieved 78 percent participation.

Our peer institutions carry out similar campaigns. Elon, Furman, Wofford and Wheaton all have similar campaigns and goals this year.

Maybe you don’t get misty-eyed about Samford. You’ve gotten a degree from here, but that’s about it.

But I refuse to believe that there was never a program, a professor, a class or a club that had an impact on you in some way.

You can designate your gift to that specific fund. Your gift doesn’t go to line the pockets of some mysterious Samford guy upstairs.

You can donate to specific aspects of campus that you are passionate about, and students will directly benefit from your generosity.

If you don’t give to this campaign, no one is going to beat down your door angrily or withhold your diploma. But if you do decide to give, I can promise you that the benefits will be long-lasting.

You’ll set a precedent of generosity that will last long after you walk across the stage in May.

I’m not writing this because anyone told me to. I honestly believe that this campaign is a critical way we can impact campus before we leave in a few short weeks, and it deserves our attention.

Let’s prove that we can sacrifice a few dollars that will make more of a difference than we even realize.

It’s one thing to say your Samford experience has meant a lot to you. It’s quite another to put your words to action.

Rachel Stanback is a senior journalism and mass communication major. You can contact her at rstanbac@samford.edu.

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