Giving back when it's most needed

By Julia Quanrud

School should have ended on February 13th. That is, if Macalester was funded only by student tuition payments.Luckily, our spring semester doesn’t end in early February. We’re able to enjoy Founder’s Day, Spring Fest, Senior Week, and spring break (hallelujah!) because of the contributions of Macalester’s generous donors. Tuition alone does not even come close to covering Macalester’s operating costs, but donors help Mac meet its budget every year, allowing students to continue to enjoy their college.

This year, the senior class will join more than 8,000 alums and friends of the college in giving back to the school. The Senior Class Gift will be allocated to the Annual Fund in a show of student support for the college’s future.

This year’s class gift represents a departure from other class’ gifts, but the Senior Class Gift Committee felt that contributing to the Annual Fund was the best way that the senior class could show its appreciation for the opportunities they have had at Macalester. The Annual Fund, which provided the school with $3.3 million dollars in 2008-2009, supports programming, buildings, equipment, financial aid, faculty, and staff that we as seniors have benefited from for four years.

Personally, I can’t think of a better class gift than to give to the Annual Fund. A generous financial aid package from Macalester made it possible for me to attend, and Macalester has continued to support me throughout my time here, without forcing me to incur an excessive amount of debt. What better way to show my appreciation by helping to make sure that future students have the same opportunities that I was given?

I’m also grateful for the tremendous faculty and staff that I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn from. Under their guidance, I’ve learned how to write a decent thesis statement, how to navigate the nonprofit world, how to map a city, and so on. They opened doors for me, pushed me to work harder than I thought possible, and taught me the importance of asking questions.

The Annual Fund helps support programs like study abroad, which allows students to cross the globe with Macalester’s blessing and financial support. I spent last spring in southern Spain, learning Spanish and enjoying the Mediterranean sun, and this past J-Term, I was able to take a research trip to the Caribbean. Neither of these experiences would have been possible without the support of donors.

Giving to the Annual Fund may feel less tangible than previous years’ class gifts, but what we give will help keep great professors teaching at Macalester. It will send more students off to study in far off corners of the world, and it will help ensure that students will be able to attend Macalester, regardless of their financial circumstances. Our gift will help keep our school alive. By giving to the senior class gift, we can be the return on the enormous investment that Macalester has made in us.

I urge you to join me in giving back to Mac by donating to the Senior Class Gift. Your gift may be used to honor an individual or a group at your discretion, and staff, faculty, parents, friends, and other students are encouraged to participate. Please visit https://secure.macalester.edu/giving to learn more and to give to the Senior Class Gift.