With their senior gift, Drew’s newest graduates give the university community a way to build bonds.
The Class of 2013 plans to bestow on Drew something that its members remember as pivotal to their own college experience: fun and games.
Renovations to what was then the University Center, now the Ehinger Center, led to pitching the building’s aging game tables, such as a battered Ping-Pong set.
Their absence was sorely felt.
Christine Felix ’13, co-chair of the senior gift committee, says the group wanted to fill that gaming void. “A lot of the people on the committee remembered back to their freshman year sitting around the Ping-Pong table,” Felix says. “That was a great place to make friends.”
To date the class has raised $10,696. Combined with a $7,500 match from trustee emerita Nancy Schaenen, the class will have more than $18,000 to purchase games for the C’80 Pub, the Space and the 1867 Lounge. Felix says the class hopes to purchase PacMan, pinball and Ping-Pong games, among others.
“This year has been quite a good year,” says Schaenen, who was instrumental in launching the senior gift program at Drew in 1983. She has partially matched every class gift over the last three decades as a way of encouraging students and giving their gifts even more impact.
The senior gift, a Drew tradition dating back 30 years, draws its staying power from the value of service to society, a notion instilled in students throughout the campus community, says Stephan Pahides ’83. Pahides helped fundraise for the first such gift, the Class of 1983 Senior Gift Award, which annually recognizes with a cash prize two juniors who demonstrate a commitment to improving campus life. This year’s recipients are Zainab Sulaiman ’14 and Neena Robertson ’14, both active in multiple student organizations.
“At graduation, many seniors are eager to discard their student identity and to take those first steps as an active participant in the larger world,” Pahides says. “What better way than to declare one’s support for Drew?”—Lynda Dexheimer