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2014 Senior Class Gift Options Revealed

Choosing from more than 150 submissions from students, faculty, and staff, the 2014 Senior Class Gift Committee narrowed down its options to the final three proposals. Penn State seniors can vote next week to determine the legacy their class will leave behind.

The voting period begins October 14, and concludes October 18 at 5 p.m. Seniors can vote either here or on the ground floor of the HUB from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. All those graduating in May, August, or December are eligible to vote and donate to this year’s senior class gift.

“The class gifts safeguard the history of the University and embody the students that the gifts represent,” said 2014 class gift committee chair Katia Esarey. “The program also supports graduating seniors in taking their first philanthropic steps — encouraging us to always give back to our Dear Old State — while also supporting future students.”

The final three proposals are listed below:

  • The Heritage Tree Endowment: This gift “will preserve the beauty and unique character of the University Park campus through the creation of an endowment to protect trees that have special historical, cultural or aesthetic value and are designated as Penn State Heritage Trees. The University would recognize the gift by transplanting on to campus a fourth-generation descendant of ‘Old Willow,’ a landmark tree planted soon after Penn State admitted its first class of students in 1859, by Professor of Horticulture William G. Waring. Members of the senior class of 2014 could enjoy watching this tree grow as they return to campus again and again throughout their lives, while the endowment provides permanent funds to protect and nurture the University’s Heritage Trees.”
  • Penn State’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Endowment: CAPS “provides a vital service by helping students manage a range of personal and mental health challenges. College is an exciting time for many students, but the daily challenges of college life and young adulthood can be stressful. The CAPS endowment would ensure that the center could provide after-hours counseling and crisis support to students, allowing them to call at any hour of the evening or night and meet with a counselor if needed. Such flexibility is important since regular appointments fill quickly and can be difficult to obtain when students need them most. By creating a permanent, annual source of funding to support CAPS, the senior class of 2014 could help ensure that Penn State students can benefit from expansive, easily accessible counseling services for years to come.”
  • The HUB Green Roof Terrace: This gift, “as part of the current HUB expansion and renovation, provides an opportunity to fund the construction of an open-air rooftop terrace. Space in the HUB is often limited, and the new terrace would provide additional seating as well as expanded room for organizational programming. This green space would help advance sustainable architecture and design on campus. It would also provide several key environmental benefits, including reducing the heat island affect that traditional roofs create, allowing for better management of storm water, and creating a new habitat for plants, birds and insects.”

The results will be announced at 11 a.m. on October 23 in Heritage Hall. As an added incentive for planning ahead, seniors who pledge by Oct. 18 will gain an additional vote.

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About the Author

Jessica Tully

Jessica Tully is a first-year law student at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. She graduated in May 2014 with degrees in journalism and political science.

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