by Makayela Isbell ’20
The financial strain of pursuing higher education can prevent students from finishing their desired degree. The members of the GCSA Commencement Committee recognizes this problem and have proposed an alternative idea for the class of 2017 Senior Gift.
The committee that is in charge of choosing the Senior Gift is made up of 13 total members of various majors, lead by Rosanna Drinkhouse ‘17. GCSA Commencement Director, Drinkhouse said, “We [the committee] wanted to invest in people who were like us.”
The process for choosing a senior gift begins in the summer. Drinkhouse said that “we [the committee] don’t just get to decide;it [the Senior Gift] has to go through lots of different channels and eventually be approved by the presidential cabinet.”
Gifts from previous senior classes include plaques, campus improvements, benches, and more recently, the Highland Express shuttle. This year’s committee wanted the gift to be something that would actively change a student’s college experience. Drinkhouse said, “A bench wouldn’t change my experience at college but engaging with my peers has, and with the reality is that some of them would not be here without the support of the student assistance fund.”
This year’s monetary gift is directly given to the Student Assistance Fund. The fund is “triggered if you are in an emergency or financial difficulty like if a parent dies, loss of a job or some sort of circumstance that would make coming to Gordon financially infeasible,” said Drinkhouse. This fund isn’t like most budgets; as it can continue to help other Gordon students as long as it is correctly maintained by the internal structures of the college. The identities of those who receive the gift will not be revealed to the public or to the receiver.
As the fund was already part of the internal structure of the college, every penny the senior class raises goes directly to the fund. There are three different ways one can donate. One can text GCSENIORS17 to 41444 to give, you use Venmo (username “Gordon College Commencement Senior Gift”), or send/give cash in the inter-campus mail to Rosanna Drinkhouse or Peter Bayreuther.
According to Gordon College’s Instagram, recipient of the Student Assistant Fund Maggie Risma ‘17 said, “The Student Assistance Fund has made it possible for me to thrive here at Gordon without having financial stress. The people at Gordon are what it’s all about, and they not only make it worth it for me to be here, but they have also made it possible for me to be here, and for that I am truly grateful.”