1634 Society Draws Freshman Donations
Published: Friday, February 7, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2014 02:02
Citing lackluster donation efforts, the 1634 Society is encouraging freshmen to donate to the fund with hopes of gradually increasing the university’s endowment, which is smaller than those of its peer institutions.
“Georgetown has fallen behind other schools of its caliber in terms of endowment and fundraising,” 1634 Society President Tyler Newhall (COL ’15) said.
To meet the goal of the campaign this year, the group must receive donations from 50 percent of the freshman class in order to receive an anonymous donation for $10,000 that will be put toward the Healey Family Student Center. Although last year’s campaign was similar in design and successful in meeting the same goal, the 1634 Society has higher hopes for this year.
Programs such as Phonathon seek to solicit donations from alumni, which can often be difficult to accrue.
“Tuition is great, and it helps the day-to-day basic things of being a student, but alumni donations are what really drive the great extracurricular activities and programs,” Newhall said.
The society also aims to focus beyond the end monetary goal, fostering a community of philanthropy at Georgetown.
“We came toward the end last year and it was more about reaching our goal and less about getting the freshman class more involved with philanthropy here at Georgetown,” Newhall said. “Over the next few weeks the campaign seeks to really welcome the freshmen and get them acquainted with the spirit of giving back to the Georgetown that we’ve created here.”
The 1634 Society is attempting to maintain its traditional events so students are familiar with their goals.
“We are trying to be very, very consistent and constant with our events. We are keeping some of our more successful events, like the pizza-party kickoff, but we are trying to be a lot more consistent with our presence on campus in order to get our message out there and to meet and exceed our goals,” Traditions Chair Anna Mastryukova (COL ’16) said.
With the first event held on Monday, Feb. 3, the society already has noticed an overwhelming majority of freshmen involvement. In just one day, more than 20 percent of the freshman class donated the suggested $1 while some students donated even more.
Some freshman students are already invested in the campaign.
“Even though I donated just a dollar to the campaign, I think it’s good to get in the habit of donating now because I want to be an involved alumna, so I might as well get in the habit now,” Monica Fritz (MSB ’17) said.
However, there are various freshmen who are skeptical about the campaign.
“I have not donated to the campaign yet, and I don’t know that I will,” Michael Pesce (MSB ’17) said. “Tuition is very expensive. I understand that alumni give a lot and I will in the future, but it seems a bit early to start.”
Despite some students’ hesitation, Mastryukova still feels that this campaign will bring success.
“There is a very positive feedback from the students,” Mastryukova said.
The 1634 Society will expand fundraising efforts beyond the freshman class, beginning a sophomore campaign later this spring.
With multiple campaigns and various upcoming events, the 1634 Society looks forward to not only raising money for Georgetown, but also creating a long-term community rooted in philanthropy and student unity.
“Through One for Georgetown, we are not only encouraging philanthropy but we are trying to get a message of unity across the campus and for all classes to come,” Mastryukova said. “We are trying to get the classes to unite through giving way before their senior class gift campaign, and I think we have a really great idea in building a community through social philanthropy.”