UGA’s youngest alumni give $85,550 as their senior gift
The University of Georgia Student Alumni Council recently led efforts to complete a record Senior Signature fundraising campaign, securing $85,550-the second highest total in Senior Signature history.
The Senior Signature campaign gives graduating students the opportunity to donate to a school, college, department or scholarship fund on campus that has significantly improved their collegiate experiences. Students graduating in both May and December 2016 were invited to donate by the March 31 deadline.
Participating students' names are included on the Class of 2016 Senior Signature plaque that is installed in UGA's Tate Center Plaza. Prior to spring Commencement, the plaque was first unveiled during the annual Senior Send-Off on Herty Field on May 11.
The Class of 2016 donated 1,752 gifts for a grand total of $85,550. This was only superseded by the Class of 2015, which donated $90,516, with 1,807 graduating students participating.
The concept for the campaign stems from a student-led fundraising effort that was launched in 1920. Of every $50 Senior Signature gift, $20 goes to the Georgia Fund, UGA's annual giving fund that supports student scholarships. More than $35,000 of this year's Senior Signature total was given to the Georgia Fund.
"Donating to UGA through the Senior Signature program is one of the first steps students take in establishing their philanthropic legacies at the university," said Meredith Gurley Johnson, UGA's executive director of alumni relations. "As one of our Student Alumni Council members put it: it's kind of like reaching back to your future Bulldogs. Since I will graduate this year with a master's degree from the College of Education, I am proud to join my fellow graduates in securing my name on the plaque for future generations of Bulldogs to see when they are on campus."
Jasmine Johnson will graduate in May and is the vice president of the Student Alumni Council, the student ambassador group for the UGA Alumni Association that protects university traditions and helps foster a culture of philanthropy among the student body. Johnson is a Senior Signature donor, but also helped encourage her peers to participate in the giving campaign.
"Closing out my undergraduate career by giving through Senior Signature is the least I could do for a university that has given so much to me," Johnson said. "When I came to the University of Georgia, I could not have imagined the opportunities that have been available to me. A lot of them are available thanks to alumni and students who see it as their duties to give back, and I felt the same."
The UGA Alumni Association
The UGA Alumni Association supports the academic excellence, best interests and traditions of Georgia's flagship university by inspiring engagement through relevant programming, enhanced connections and effective communications. For more information, see alumni.uga.edu.
The UGA Student Alumni Council
The Student Alumni Council is the UGA Alumni Association's 40-student ambassador group. This elite group of student leaders educates other students about the role of private giving in the student experience at UGA. The group also helps plan events and programs to foster networking between alumni and students, and promotes and enhances the traditions of the University of Georgia.