Started at Colby in 1984-85, the Senior Pledge program is a long-standing tradition of seniors giving back to Colby in recognition of their outstanding educational experiences. Senior Pledge is focused on educating seniors about the impact of philanthropy and the importance of participation when giving back to Colby College.
This year a Challenge has been issued to the Class of 2016 by the Senior Parents Gift Committee. This Challenge, detailed below, will allow the class to pay for a future Colby student’s entire Colby experience if they can surpass our previous participation record of 88%. Please read on to learn more, visit out Facebook page to see what we’re up to, and follow the big blue button to help us reach our goal by supporting the future of Colby!
The Importance of the Colby Fund
The Colby Fund comprises annual unrestricted contributions from alumni and members of the senior class. It provides immediate budget relief for scholarships, faculty salaries, libraries, and campus maintenance, and it supports athletics, student clubs, lectures, the arts, and other activities. Our participation in the Colby Fund through the Senior Pledge program and in future years as alumni is extremely important. High participation is looked upon favorably by college review publications when ranking institutions and by foundations when awarding grants critical to the College.
Colby Fund gifts, both large and small, have a significant impact. Our commitment to Senior Pledge and, starting next year, the Colby Fund ultimately will help the participation rate and the total dollars raised by the Colby Fund, and it will strengthen the value of our Colby degrees.
Why Participation Matters
The focus of Senior Pledge is to inform seniors about the importance of philanthropy and the role philanthropic participation plays in securing the future of Colby. Soon-to-be Colby alumni are the most recent recipients of the Colby experience and their support serves as a signal regarding the College’s positive direction. This signal of support can take many forms, each one of which shows older alumni and friends of the College that Colby’s future is bright in the eyes of those who know it best.
Ways to Give to Senior Pledge
Designating Your Gift: Everyone who gives back, whether $5 or $5,000, has the option of directing their gift towards any part of the Colby experience they feel is important or played a central role in their time here. Giving to an academic department, athletic team, or student organization helps maintain the impact those groups have and serves as a sign that group has made a significant impact in your time at Colby.
Gifts in Honor: We come from diverse backgrounds and have varied histories, but all of us owe our Colby experiences to individuals who have made lasting and significant impacts on our lives. A gift to Senior Pledge can be made in honor of someone who has made your Colby experience memorable.
Scholarship Funding: Roughly 40% of Colby students receive some form of financial aid, with an average financial aid package of roughly 45K made up entirely of grants. Gifts by alumni make it possible for hundreds of students to attend Colby every year and you can be a part of that legacy both by participating in this year’s Challenge, but also by designating your gift to financial aid at Colby.
Scheduled Pledge Payments: Senior Pledge is centered on participation, but we also want seniors to know that it can be easy to give larger sums by splitting the gift into parts. A gift of $100, for example, could pay for gas the Ultimate Frisbee team needs to get to and from a tournament. This online gift could be split into ten smaller payments of $10 each month, if the donor wanted to support their favorite club without using up all of their spending money for the month they’re making the gift in.
Four-Year Pledge Opportunities
We can make multi-year pledges of up to four years, the first payment being due during senior year. Each year more than one third of all Senior Pledge donors elect to make a multi-year pledge, confirming our support of the Colby Fund over the next several years. There are several suggested giving levels outlined on the pledge card, but donors can make commitments of any amount.