1634 Society Campaign Targets Freshman Class
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 8, 2013 02:02
The 1634 Society is targeting the Class of 2016 through the “One for Georgetown” campaign to promote undergraduate giving and raise money for the New South Student Center, which will be completed during the freshman class’ junior year.
The campaign, which was announced in an email to the freshman class Thursday and will run from Feb. 4 to Feb. 28, encourages each student to donate $1 to a fund that will be used for the construction of the New South Student Center. If 50 percent of the freshman class participates, an anonymous benefactor will donate $10,000 to the campaign.
It is the first social philanthropy campaign targeted at undergraduates that the 1634 Society, which aims to inspire philanthropy and promote alumni-student relations, has sponsored.
According to Chairman of the 1634 Society Board of Directors Bryan Satterly (SFS ’13), 30 percent of alumni currently give to the university — a significantly lower figure than the One for Georgetown campaign’s goal of 50 percent participation.
By improving attitudes toward giving among current students, the 1634 Society is hoping to eventually increase the percentage of alumni that give to Georgetown. The group is considering launching campaigns for other class years if this campaign is successful.
“We want to change alumni giving for the future,” Satterly said. “The backbone of 1634 is to instill philanthropy.”
1634 Society board member Alex Pommier (SFS ’15) agreed, adding that the new campaign is based on this goal.
“The campaign was inspired by the spirit of giving back to Georgetown,” Pommier said.
He hopes that students who give as undergraduates will, in turn, give as alumni, with this campaign serving as a means of instilling a “giving-back habit.”
The society announced on its Facebook page Tuesday that it has already had more than 30 percent participation from the freshman class. But to encourage wider contribution, the 1634 Society organized several launch week events for participants. Students from the dormitory with the highest participation will receive paraphernalia and VIP perks at a closing barbecue celebration.
Satterly said that he anticipates a high turnout at the events, partly motivated by the $10,000 gift contingent upon participation.
“If they don’t reach the goal, then they don’t reach the goal. That’s it,” Satterly said.
Initial student response to the campaign was mixed.
Courtney Klein (SFS ’16) said that she believes that philanthropy is pivotal to the undergraduate experience and that this particular campaign should encourage participation.
“Georgetown gives us so much. We have to give back,” Klein said. “The New South Student Center is a good cause because our money will directly benefit students. … We know where our money is going.”
On the other hand, Alex Barnes (SFS ’16) was skeptical that students should donate money to the university before graduation.
“We’re already paying an absurd amount to go here for four years,” Barnes said. “It's more of an alumni thing to be giving back. It's kind of strange they're already asking for donations when we're barely into our second semester of our freshman year.”
Barnes added that he would not donate to the university until after graduation.
Scott Goldstein (SFS ’16) was unconvinced of the merits of the campaign because of the project it plans to fund.
“It's not for charity and it doesn't seem to serve an intellectualpurpose that would improve our academic experience at Georgetown,” he said. “It would merely be for a nice hang out space. It seems like a nice but unnecessary improvement. … It just seems like an unnecessary use of money.”
However, for Mackenzie Boydston (MSB ’16), investing in Georgetown as a freshman will help her establish a habit of donating in the future.
“My experience at Georgetown is better because of alumni donations, so I will want to give back as an alumna as well,” Boydston said.