Yale College Class of 2010 Sets New Records for Giving

Drew Rowny and Olivia Wheeler led fellow seniors to becoming the most generous graduating class in Yale College history.

As they approach graduation, the members of the Class of 2010 have made campus history as Yale College’s most generous graduating class to date. Their Senior Class Gift of $29,670.41 broke the previous record of $27,488 set by the Class of 2007. They also surpassed last year’s record participation rate, with 91 percent of students contributing.

Helping to spur these record-breaking achievements was a matching gift from an anonymous donor, whose additional contribution will double the impact of the Class’s gift to the Yale Alumni Fund. All gifts to the Fund—from seniors as well as alumni, parents, and friends—provide critical flexible resources that are put to immediate use in support of Yale’s core priorities, such as financial aid.

The three-week Senior Class Gift campaign, held January 26 through February 16, was spearheaded by co-chairs Drew Rowny and Olivia Wheeler, both seniors in Timothy Dwight. Their responsibilities began in the fall with the recruitment of 145 enthusiastic volunteers in all twelve colleges and accelerated through the three-week campaign.

Rowny, who has held numerous leadership positions during his undergraduate career, credited others for the success of the campaign. “We were so lucky to have an incredible group of volunteers, who did the really hard work,” he said. Rowny is a math major from Seattle, Washington.

Co-chair Olivia Wheeler, a history major from Cambridge, Massachusetts, agreed. “Our team kept the message positive and focused on participation, and it paid off,” she said. “The final night of the campaign when we realized that we could break last year’s record was so exciting and rewarding for everyone involved.”

A little healthy competition among the colleges and a few incentives also added to the spirit and outcome of the campaign and brought special rewards to the winners. Jonathan Edwards raised the most money ($4,121.50) and—along with Calhoun—had 100 percent participation. As a result, both will be allowed to name a $10,000 scholarship contributed by a second anonymous donor, which will be awarded to an incoming freshman next fall. And, because Berkeley’s total was within dollars of the winning amount, another donor has graciously offered to provide a scholarship to that college as well.

Giving in all of the colleges surpassed the $1,000 level, earning each one a $1,000 donation to their Master’s funds, thanks to the generosity of a group of parents who wanted to support the students’ efforts and residential college life at the same time.

Following tradition, the Senior Class Gift will be officially presented to Yale during Class Day festivities on Sunday, May 23.

(May 11, 2010)

May 11, 2010