In our April 18 staff editorial, the Foghorn staff challenged the University’s practice of asking students for donations right before they graduate. This letter to the editor was written in response to the Foghorn’s opinion on this issue.
As your staff editorial in the April 18, 2019 issue correctly states, USF does ask members of the USF community — alumni, family, employees, friends, and undergraduate and graduate students alike — to consider making an annual philanthropic contribution of any amount to the institution. We understand that not all graduating students are in a position to provide philanthropic support to USF.
The senior class campaign has been a tradition since the 1980s; the statue outside of Koret is a tangible campus example of a collective gift from a senior class. More recently, senior class campaigns have focused on providing support to scholarships rather than statutes or benches.
About 500 students from the classes of 2018 and 2019 have made a senior class gift. These donors have supported scholarships, student-life programs, academic departments, athletics, and much more. The last two senior class campaigns have raised nearly $50,000 to support initiatives for fellow students, faculty, and staff at USF.
In addition to philanthropic support, senior and alumni annual participation is used, in part, by US News & World Report in determining annual rankings of universities across the nation. When USF’s ranking increases (as it did this year), the value of a degree from USF is bolstered which, in turn, benefits all alumni.
Assistant Vice President, Alumni Engagement, Annual Giving and Special Events