Class of 2015 Surpasses Fundraising Goals Through Generous Challenge Grants
More than half of graduating students contributed to the class gift
by Kaydee R. Gilson (’18)
Each year, Dr. Richard Badenhausen, director of the Honors program, challenges the program’s graduating seniors to collectively donate $500 to the Student Honors Council Fund. If they meet the challenge, Richard personally matches the $500. This year, alumna (and former Presidential Ambassador) Megan Peters (’15) heard the call and rallied her peers to raise $612. Additionally, for the first year ever, 100 percent of the students in the Honors Class of 2015—34 total—donated to the cause, securing an additional $500 match from Richard, reaching a total donation of $1,612.
“I think if future students see young donors like the 2015 Honors grads giving back to the school, they will feel even more confident about attending Westminster,” Megan said. “We are the students who have lived the Westminster experience, and if we can give even a little bit of money to confirm that it was worthwhile, it can hopefully encourage future giving.”
Richard’s challenge was not the only one on the table this year. The Westminster Class of 2015 participated in a challenge to donate to Students Helping Students: The Hardship Fund, a campus-wide effort that supports students experiencing an acute financial crisis with emergency aid. If at least 50 percent of the class donated $5 or more, college alumna and trustee Deanna Forbush (’87) promised to double the gift up to $5,000. The 34 Honors gifts counted toward the 50 percent class participation, and the campaign raised almost $6,800 from the graduating class.
Director of annual giving, Lynn Koenig, is impressed with the increasing generosity of the graduating class. “The last three years we have had more than half of our graduating class give back to the class gift,” she said. “It is so rewarding to work with students like Megan who already feel strongly about giving back to the college. She and her fellow Honors classmates have set a great example of why it is so important to give back.”
Through giving, Megan believes that more people will have access to the Westminster experience. “The Westminster community is the place where I really grew up. I was surrounded by so many new ideas and opinions that I had to learn to articulate as an individual,” she said. “Everyone I’ve met through Westminster has influenced me in some way, whether it’s in a class discussion or a campus event or anywhere else. The Westminster community has an amazing support system.”
See photos and read stories about Westminster’s current Presidential Ambassadors by searching for “Presidential Ambassadors” at westminsteru.edu.
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster University’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.