Over 72.5 percent of the senior class contributed nearly $29,500 to the senior class gift fund, breaking the records set by the class of 2002 for highest participation rate, highest per person contribution and total money raised by a senior class.

At Monday’s Senior Convocation, Senior Class Gift Committee Co-Chairs Tim Sullivan (COL ’03) and Sapna Vir (MSB ’03) announced the total value of donations collected, an average of $22.07 per gift. Sullivan is a Hoya staff writer.

Sullivan and Vir presented DeGioia with a rock at the Convocation ceremony to symbolize the class gift, a “Welcome to Georgetown” sign to adorn the renovated Canal Road entrance, which will become a major entrance to the campus after the opening of the Southwest Quadrangle in the fall.

The committee had initially considered some sort of arch but determined that the logistics were too complicated. The current plan is to place the sign on a low, gray, stone wall at the back entrance to the university. Students donating to the gift fund had the option of earmarking their donations for other causes, including sports programs, student clubs and financial aid.

The end of the year was a huge opportunity for the gift committee to collect donations from students. Less than a month ago, $15,500 had been raised with over 50 percent of the senior class participating, but the committee sponsored several events in order to increase participation, including a special reception held in Riggs Library hosted by University President John J. DeGioia. In addition, two parents of seniors challenged the class to achieve over 71 percent participation, offering to make a matching pledge.

“Our class was issued a challenge by two Class of 2003 parents who are also alumni,” Sullivan said at Convocation. “We met that challenge.”

The decision to improve the Canal Road entrance was made by the senior class through an electronic vote on the Saxa Server. The Feb. 28 election resulted in the selection of the sign by a margin of 10 percent over the next most popular idea – the improvement of the small grassy area beside the Reiss building into a more usable park space.

Sullivan attributed some of the popularity of the idea to the fact that no formal entry sign has ever existed at the Canal Road entrance. The existing “Hoya Saxa” sign does not include any official indication that it is in fact an entrance to Georgetown and the class gift will offer more of a formal entry, he said. The existing sign will not be replaced or removed when the gift is installed next year.

“As the Southwest Quad becomes a major part of the university, the Canal Road entrance will become a main part of the new campus environment,” he said. “This is our opportunity to make a mark on the Georgetown that will follow our class in the years to come.”

The class of 2002 used its class gift funds to convert a small vacant property on the 3600 Block of N Street into a Sept. 11 memorial.

Roger Gill (MSB ’02), chair of the class of 2002 senior class gift said that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 had made a huge impact on landscape of student life at Georgetown and that his class’s gift attempted to pay tribute to that fact. Similarly, he said he felt that the imminent opening of the Southwest Quadrangle would make a huge impact on life on the Hilltop.

“Every class picks a gift that is significantly tied to the things that were taking place on campus when they were finishing their senior year,” Gill said. “The welcome sign will be a great addition to the university landscape. It will serve as a great tie-in to the opening [of the Southwest Quadrangle].”

The senior class gift committee estimates that the sign will be completed within the next year.

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