Ruthie Braunstein/The Hoya Chime Max Coslov (SFS ’01)

The Georgetown Chimes have announced that they have met their self-set goal of $1 million in fundraising and plan to donate the funds to Georgetown’s library. To commemorate the Georgetown Chimes-funded Gerald F. Yates, S.J., Endowment Fund, Lauinger Library officials plan to place a plaque in the library’s lobby.

The ceremony will precede the Cherry Tree Massacre a capella festival this Saturday.

The donations come in the final two years of Georgetown’s $1 billion Third Century Campaign, designed to increase the university’s endowment.

The fund began with a small group of alumni organizing a donation substantial enough to begin an endowment and pledged to raise a minimum of $1 million for the library, said Tony Kerbs (C ’73), a Chimes member. Kerbs has donated to the library before, providing the funds to place marble plaques in the entrance identifying benefactors who gave more than $1 million. The Chimes, he said, will eventually be added to the short list now on the marble plates.

The Yates fund is one of the first organized donation programs by the Chimes in their 55-year history. Chimes members established the Cawley Family Foundation Chimes Book Endowment Fund as a donation vehicle over 12 years ago, but donations were made on an individual basis.

The new fund is an endowment to which members can make individual donations to but are recognized as an organization for their contributions, according to Kerbs.

“As a group, we wanted to do something for the university,” Kerbs said. “Everything just came together.”

Chimes members have donated most of the funds for the endowment during the past five years. Though it is an effort of all 175 living Chimes members, the elder members have been the chief benefactors.

“[The active undergaduates] are really proud to be a part of this and contribute what we can,” said Chimes business manager Rick Bedoya (MSB ’01).

The active members donate a sum each year as a group, he said.

“Last year, we gave $2,011 in memory of one of our members who died,” Bedoya said.

The active members, according to Bedoya, expect to donate nearly $3,000 this year.

The Yates endowment is named after the Rev. Gerald R. Yates, S.J., a Chimes alumnus and prominent varsity sports supporter. The Yates Memorial Field house, opened in 1979, is also named in his honor.

“He was a special guy to all of us who knew him,” Kerbs said.

The Chimes have been working to promote the fund at their annual reunions, garnering nearly $150,000 at their 1999 reunion and traveling to Maine in September 2000 to meet and sing with 125 of their alumni members.

This weekend, Bedoya said, 30 alumni have reserved seats to the annual Cherry Tree Massacre, but the Chimes expect more attendees, especially local alumni.

The Chimes chose the library, according to Kerbs, in part because Joseph Mark Lauinger (COL ’67), for whom the building was named, was a Chimes member. Lauinger wears his Chimes tie in the portrait in the library’s lobby.

The library, Kerbs said, “was a place we all felt we belonged.”

The Yates Fund, according to Kerbs, is ongoing and will continue to accumulate donations.

“The motivation here, the message,” Kerbs said, “is the Chimes as a group aren’t an irrelevant singing group on campus. We’re a large group of very loyal alums.”

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