2015 Senior Class Gift Options Revealed

The Senior Class Gift Committee narrowed down its submissions to the final three gift ideas. The Class of 2015 will choose between a Solar Panel Array, an Alma Mater Display, and the Student Success Fund.

“As far as the gifts, we allow any student or community member to submit a proposal,” said Tara Bendler, executive director of the Class Gift Campaign. “I really want to reiterate that because there are always people who complain about the gifts, but never take the time to submit a proposal. We allow anyone the opportunity to submit one. The proposals are then narrowed down to the top 25, then top ten, and finally the top three that the seniors vote on.”

All students graduating in 2015 (May, August and December) can vote and donate to the senior class gift. Voting begins Monday and concludes Friday at 11:59 p.m. Seniors are allowed to vote only once but will receive a second vote if they make a pledge before Friday.

The final three proposals are listed below:

  • Solar Panel Array: “In support of a vision of a more sustainable Penn State embraced by both its leadership and student body, this class gift will fund the construction of a solar panel array on the University Park campus. The first step of many to come, the solar array will serve as a renewable energy source and a valuable educational resource, and it will align with Penn State’s goal to reduce building energy use by 20 percent over the next decade. The solar array will also build awareness of our energy-reduction efforts and proclaim Penn State’s strong commitment to sustainability and a greener future.”
  • Alma Mater Display: “The timeless words of the Penn State Alma Mater have echoed down through the generations. This class gift would celebrate the University’s official song by engraving its first verse on a heavily traveled sidewalk on the University Park campus. Since 1901, when it was composed by pioneering American Literature professor Fred Lewis Pattee, the Alma Mater has united students and alumni in a shared expression of love and respect for our great University. Creating the Alma Mater Sidewalk Display would give the song the prominent and permanent place that it deserves, realizing a deeply felt desire that many students and alumni have expressed over the years.”
  • Student Success Fund: “To help future students overcome the challenge of affording a Penn State education, the class of 2015 would create an endowed scholarship to benefit a student in his or her final year who is in good academic standing and demonstrates the highest financial need. The University has long sought to reduce students’ financial burden, and President Barron has recently reaffirmed this goal as a priority, placing a particular emphasis on helping students graduate with a degree in four years. The Student Success Scholarship would support these efforts and change the lives of many Penn Staters in the future.”

This year we are trying to get students to give half of their general deposit to class gift and the other half to something of their choice, such as a specific program or college,” Bendler said. “This allows students the opportunity to both support the class gift and also support something that had an impact on them while they were here. “

The university will accept the gift on October 22nd at 2 p.m. in the HUB. From then on the Class Gift Committee’s primary focus will be developing the gift and collecting pledges. 

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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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