The class of 2017 giving campaign is encouraging students to leave their legacy by giving back to the University.
“This year especially we’re trying to get people to think back on not only what they’ve loved about U.Va. but also how they want to improve this school as an institution and how their gift to class giving can really impact the university in a positive way,” Wyatt Moorer, co-chair of the class of 2017 giving campaign and fourth-year College student, said.
Two weeks ago the class of 2017 Trustees held Class Giving Launch Week, which was meant to inform students about the campaign, why giving matters and how donations benefit the school.
Tuition covers 17 percent of the University's operating budget, while limited state funds cover six percent, according to the campaign’s webpage. Private donations make up the remaining 76 percent.
The campaign allows students to pick where their money goes, which enables them to give to any aspect of the University.
“They can donate to their CIO, their major, they can donate to a research fund,” Moorer said. “They can donate to groups that are affiliated with U.Va., like Madison House. They can also donate to things as specific as t-shirt cannons at basketball games.”
The one exception is donating to a specific professor.
“The only thing that you’re not allowed to donate directly to is a professor,” Moorer said. “But you can donate to their research.”
The Class Giving campaign has been receiving donations for about three weeks.
Fourth-year Engineering student Hannah Woodruff said she thinks the campaign was well organized. Because Trustees shared on social media to what they were donating and why, she said she was convinced to give back too.
“I decided to donate to the dance minor program because I believe it's extremely underfunded and not fully believed in by many at the University,” Woodruff said. “The program has been responsible for creating magnificent works and the faculty have achieved incredible feats and grants, yet so many students and faculty don't know that the program even exists.”
Woodruff said the program has been an important part of her college experience.
“If any part of the University has both challenged and encouraged me to accomplish beyond what I thought was possible, it is for sure the dance minor program,” she said.
Moorer said he is thrilled by the level of engagement so far.
Plans for the rest of the year include working with each of the University’s schools and various CIOs to encourage donations.
Fourth-year College student Elvera Santos said she hasn’t given back yet but plans to, and said she really likes the idea of the program.
“[I] would probably give back to my sorority, Lambda Theta Alpha,” Santos said. “It's been a big part of my life since first year and has taught me how to be a leader within the U.Va. community.”
The campaign stresses the wide range of options students have for giving back.
“You choose where your money goes, instead of the University using that money as it sees fit,” the campaign’s webpage reads. “Any gift, no matter how big or small, makes a significant impact on the University and the lives of students who will come after us.”
Moorer declined to share how many students have donated thus far and the amount that’s been raised, but said they will be released at the end of the second semester.