The Senior Class Gift Campaign


The editorial pages of the Mac Weekly have been filled with point and counterpoint on this year’s Senior Gift Campaign. One of the attributes I enjoy about the Macalester community is the willingness to have healthy disagreement while respecting the viewpoints of others. In the spirit of open discussion, I thought it might be useful to share my viewpoint on the topic of a senior class gift. I believe the disagreement turns on three terms. Gift

For me, the most important point is that a person chooses to make a gift to the college. Gift recipients, Macalester included, should never convey a sense of entitlement; to do so changes a gift into a payment. The gratitude someone chooses to express by giving a gift has many and varied origins, often known only to the donor. That is as it should be. The joy that comes from giving is a personal matter.


I offer my thanks to this year’s senior class for its wonderful response to this year’s drive. As of April 13, the number of seniors who have made a gift is up 50% over last year and the amount they have donated is up 85 percent. These impressive results reflect in large part the efforts of the senior gift committee. Contrary to what some may write, it appears that the drive is being met with approval and endorsement.


Mr. Richter’s description of Macalester in last week’s edition of the Mac Weekly doesn’t resemble the Macalester I know, a nonprofit organization committed to transparency and shared governance. Mr. Richter describes an ideal Macalester as one where “administrators deliver what we pay for.” “This college is a business,” Mr. Richter writes, “and we (students) have the right to act like consumers.” This doesn’t sound like the Macalester community I know and value. I’m grateful Macalester is not such a place.

To the many donors – current students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and others, that give freely, gifts small and large, to enable Macalester to exist, thank you. Thank you for the unselfish manner in which you help make this College a better place with each passing day.

Tommy Bonner is the Vice President for Advancement at Macalester and can be reached at [email protected].