To the Editor:

I write in response to the editorial entitled “Right Idea, Wrong Donors” (The Hoya, A2, Feb. 23, 2012). This editorial not only misses the point of the university’s current capital campaign completely but also uses at least somewhat questionable claims about the university’s financial sensitivity to back up its main argument: that current students and young alumni should not be asked to donate to Georgetown.

The idea that Georgetown’s raising its tuition by 3.5 percent each year through 2016 is a reflection of the university not realizing the financial hardships evident in our current economy simply misses the mark by a wide mile. If it weren’t for generous alumni philanthropy, that increase would likely be higher.

Because tuition covers only part of what it actually costs Georgetown to educate students, all students benefit from alumni philanthropy. In aggregate, even small contributions from seniors and young alumni have a big impact in funding scholarships and helping to free up other funds in the budget. Indeed, that is why the Senior Class Fund takes as small or as large a gift a person can make.

Philanthropy must be cultivated, and it is a necessary tactic to use even the smallest amounts of giving to get young alumni in the habit of giving back to their alma mater. The idea of philanthropy is not limited to the giving of massive means, or even means at all. Giving time, talent or funds to your alma mater is always appreciated and will allow for the next generation of Georgetown students to shape the world as we know it. Count me as one of the people who find themselves incredibly blessed to be given the opportunity to make a difference, no matter how small (and it’s pretty small) in my early 20s. Let us not bicker over requests from the university but simply respond by either giving what we can, or not. It is certainly a choice.

John Kenchelian (COL ’12)

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