No one wants to leave college. But in less than three months, I have to leave this place. Forever. And I don’t want to. It’s not just that I don’t want to leave college for fear of becoming a grownup. I don’t want to leave Georgetown. aybe its cliche or lame to say it, but I can’t help it. The moment I set foot on this campus, I fell in love with this place.

When did it happen for you? When did you realize that this was the place to find out who you really are? Maybe it was when you were young, and you cheered for Alonzo Mourning and the Hoyas. aybe it was when you realized how beautiful the Healy building looks against any sky. Maybe it was when you met your freshman roommate and realized that you had nothing in common but made fast friends anyway. Maybe it was the first time you stayed up until the wee hours of the night talking with people from your floor. Maybe it was your first keg beer at a Village A rooftop party freshman year. Maybe it was your 400th keg beer during your senior year. aybe it was the first time you realized that the Jesuits weren’t just a bunch of ordinary priests. Maybe it was the first time in your life you ever protested anything. Maybe it was the first time a professor changed one of your long-held beliefs. aybe it was representing the Hoyas on an athletic field. Maybe it was during an internship on Capitol Hill. Maybe it was your 21st birthday at The Tombs. Maybe it was when you met the friends you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

Whenever it happened, Georgetown became a part of you. For the rest of our lives, we’re not just people anymore. We’re Georgetown people. The Hilltop has been home away from home and host to the most important years of our lives. And like at the end of any meaningful event, thank yous are in order.

We have been extremely privileged to have the opportunity to come to a place like Georgetown, a privilege that has been made possible by the generosity of so many people, most of whom we will never meet. Now it is time for the class of 2003 to carry that torch forward. As a class, we owe it to those who follow in our footsteps to join those in whose footsteps we have followed and give back to this university that has given us so much.

The Senior Class Gift is our first opportunity to do just that. Our class has come together in record numbers to do many things, and we need as many people as possible to get behind the Senior Class Gift. Last year’s class set a record for participation with just over 70 percent. Knowing our class, we can surely do better.

In the coming days, seniors will receive an e-mail allowing them to vote for one of three gift ideas compiled by the Gift Committee. The first is a public gathering space in the under-utilized field across from the Reiss Building that will include picnic tables and benches. The second is an improvement to the Canal Road entranceway in the form of arches or a “Georgetown University” welcome sign. The third is the placement of the university seal in Red Square. Please remember to vote when you get the e-mail. We can only give a gift that the entire class supports if the entire class gives its input.

Regardless of which gift is selected, students will have several options for giving. If students prefer, they can donate directly to financial aid, a particular athletic team, or any other university program.

There are also a number of incentives to donate to the class gift. The most important incentive, of course, is to say thank you to the university. Others are more tangible. If students donate $20.03 or more, they will receive a Senior Class Gift t-shirt. If students donate $35 or more, they will receive a t-shirt and a Class of 2003 mug. And if students give $100 or more, they will become members of the Presidential Counselor Associates, a gift club for young alumni, which will allow them to attend networking and other events after graduation.

As soon as students make their gifts, they are welcome to all of the remaining class gift events, free of charge, including a reception in Riggs Library, a barbecue (last year at the Observatory), a special seniors-only lecture and the kickoff event this Friday at Sole. If you are going to give to the Senior Class Gift, there is no reason not to give now.

Sole will be open exclusively to the Class of 2003 on Friday, and the only cover charge for students is their donation to the class gift. From 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., there will be $2 shooters and $3 domestic beers. Rail drinks will be $4 all night. There will be tables set up in Leavey for the rest of the week at which students can make their gift. Tables will also be set up at the door of Sole on Friday for students to make their gifts.

The minimum suggested donation is just $10, about the same as a pitcher at The Tombs or a movie ticket, and is nothing compared to the gifts we have been given by this university.

The Class of 2003 has worked extremely hard and accomplished an unbelievable amount, but we did not do it alone. Now is our chance to say thank you in one small way to Georgetown. Make your donation to the Senior Class Gift now and help the class of 2003 leave its mark.

Tim Sullivan is a senior in the college and co-chair of the Senior Class Gift Committee. He is a contributing editor, a member of the editorial board and a former editor in chief of The Hoya.

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