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Senior class campaign sets new high-water mark for gifts

Even before their graduation, the Cornell Class of 2010 made an impact on the university like few others before them.

The Class of 2010's senior class campaign raised $80,847 from students alone, an increase of more $30,000 from the student totals of the Class of 2009 and the largest gift from a graduating class in recent history, says Corey Earle '07, associate director of student programs in the Office of Alumni Affairs.

"So far, the campaign has received 1,625 gifts, which is the fourth consecutive year we've achieved at least 50 percent participation from the senior class," says Earle.

The 2010 senior class campaign benefited from a challenge by two anonymous alumni donors, who each pledged to add $25 to each gift made by a senior. The challenge has generated an additional $84,300 (as of May 26) and will endow a Class of 2010 Scholarship. The funds raised by the class will be committed to the Cornell Annual Fund.

This year's 42-member senior campaign committee was twice the size of previous committees, enabling broader outreach, says campaign co-president Darin Jones '10.

The campaign included such initiatives as "The Senior Class Gets Revenge," where any donor to the campaign could throw pies at campaign committee members, and hosting a viewing at Collegetown's Pixel Lounge of the Feb. 19 men's basketball game at Harvard. The campaign also held 27 phonathons, more than any other class before it.

Jones has already issued a challenge to the Class of 2011.

"I think it's important for the Class of 2011 to make their campaign better than ours has been," says Jones. "I think each year's senior class should try to do better than the class before them."

Both Jones and campaign co-president Stephanie Rigione '10 say that as beneficiaries of financial aid they were personally motivated to help the campaign succeed.

"Without financial aid, I would not have had the opportunity to attend this amazing institution and make lifelong friends," says Rigione. "I wanted to give something back and enable future Cornellians to have the same amazing experience I've had here."

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Joe Schwartz