Some say pink is the new black. The Class of 2009 says that purple is the new cool.
Class of 2009 President Kevin Dua, Eric Scruggs ’09 and Anne Allen ’09, three of six committee co-chairs of the Senior Class Gift Committee, decided the color purple would comprise their main marketing strategy.
“It was literally 45 minutes of discussing the shade of the purple that would be appropriate because we would have to look at it for a year,” Dua said. “Anytime I see someone wearing the color purple, it strikes ‘senior class gift’ in my head, and we want to inspire that in other seniors. It’s very strange, but this golden nugget we found naturally encourages us to push forward with our campaign.”
The influence of the senior class gift drive can be seen in more ways than just the color of t-shirts worn by on seniors and the colorful flyers scattered across campus.
“We talked about what makes a person give back and the simplest answer is that you give back to what you love,” Scruggs said. “You can give back to whatever aspect of William and Mary that touched you the most.”
In doing so, the organization hopes to strengthen ties among class members.
“It’s not about buying one concrete object. It’s about the entire class coming together to recognize that we are mostly privately funded,” Allen said.
Seniors can pledge money to campus organizations, athletic groups, administrative offices and academic departments.
Allen feels a responsibility to continue the tradition of giving because it is a worthwhile investment.
“I’m an independent student putting myself through school, and I know the only reason I was able to continue going to college was because I was offered support through the financial aid office. A lot of students are like me and wouldn’t be able to go to college otherwise,” Allen said. “It is about you, what inspired you and opportunities you want other students to have.”
Though not yet a quarter of the way through the year, the committee is stressing the importance of donating early.
“Locking in your gift now not only gives you the benefits of going to upcoming campus events, but really shows your dedication to the school,” Scruggs said. “Pledging gifts now, for the future, allows the school to plan forward because they know how much money to expect to come in.”
Socials, such as several wine-and-cheese events throughout the year, help provide incentive for seniors to pledge early.
“We’re hoping to do a few movies in the Sunken Garden and a lock-in at the [Sadler Center],” Allen said.
A lock-in is a social event at which participants are locked in one location all night.
This past Saturday, the committee held a beer garden in the Crim Dell Meadow. A Wine and Cheese social was held Sunday in the Wren Building for all donators in the Leadership level or above.
“This year we’re rolling out a lot more general incentives for people who don’t necessarily pledge [a large amount],” Scruggs said. “A lot of people, like me, don’t know what they’re doing after they graduate, and making a commitment this early in the year deserves a huge thank you.”
Dua is optimistic about participation, as recent years have shown growth in contributions.
“To be realistic, our goal is 100 percent class participation,” Dua said.