Senior Fund Poised to Raise $15,000 for School’s 150th Anniversary

Apr 30 2014 | By Tim Cross | The announcement of the new donation record came at a reception for Fund donors held Tuesday, April 29, in the Electrical Engineering Department Lounge.

With a fund-raising prowess that has shattered all previous records, the Columbia Engineering Class of 2014 Senior Fund is poised to reach a whopping $15,000 in class donations. With nearly $18,000 in matching funds, this means the Class of 2014 already has raised nearly $33,000 for the School, almost six times the previous record.

The announcement came at a reception for Fund donors held Tuesday, April 29, in the Electrical Engineering Department Lounge. More than 50 seniors were in attendance with Dean Mary C. Boyce, senior administrators, and faculty.

“It’s immensely gratifying, in our 150th anniversary year, to have a record Senior Fund,” said Dean Boyce in her remarks. She praised “this record-breaking Senior Fund performance,” noting that the members of the Class of 2014 who supported the Fund “have now taken the first steps” as alumni supporters of the School.

“This gift highlights a growing recognition among our students of philanthropy’s vital role in the life of our School,” she added. “I’m so tremendously grateful to the students who have contributed so far, and I hope those who are still considering will choose to also participate to help us celebrate the Class of 2014.”

Last year, the Class of 2013 raised $5,623, setting a record at the time. This year’s 13-student Senior Fund Committee, led by Chair Pravitra “Farsai” Chaikulngamdee and Vice-Chair Morgan Strauss, decided to set the bar higher, with an ambitious goal of $7,500. When the Fund reached that mark on Columbia Giving Day in October, the Committee decided to double down on its efforts, setting a goal of $15,000 in honor of the School’s 150th anniversary being celebrated this year.

The Committee’s extensive outreach included soliciting their classmates at tables set up in Mudd and other campus locations, at events throughout the year, through e-mail blasts, and direct conversations. “They did an amazing job,” said Jennifer Feierman, an assistant director of the Engineering Fund who works closely with the senior class. “The success of the Fund was a direct result of the Committee’s creativity with events and outreach, and their collaborative spirit, working with their peers at the College, Barnard, and General Studies to raise awareness and solicit gifts.”

In addition, the Senior Fund’s performance made possible an impressive amount of matching funds. First, an anonymous young alumni donor promised to match all gifts to the Senior Fund made on Columbia Giving Day. In addition, Chris Puleo BS’11 and the Puleo family issued a yearlong, $10,000 challenge match for gifts to the Fund. Taken together, these matches will add $17,941 to the Senior Fund total.

Dean Boyce sees the Fund performance as a good indicator of the seniors’ connection to Columbia Engineering. “This Senior Fund participation should be only the beginning of your strong relationship with the School,” she said at the reception. “I know that you all will stay involved with Columbia Engineering after you graduate in May.”

It is not too late for seniors to contribute! Interested seniors can make a gift by visiting the Senior Fund table at the Senior Dinner scheduled for Tuesday, May 6; by bringing a gift to the Alumni and Development Office in 530 Mudd during regular business hours; or by giving online at engineering.columbia.edu/giveonline. The Senior Fund’s final total will be announced on Class Day, Monday, May 19.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Feierman at jf2275@columbia.edu or (212) 851-4020.