Seniors to donate cardio equipment to weightroom for class gift

by Jack Sawyers

For many years the graduating class at Simpson has beencommemorated with a donation on their behalf by the Office ofCollege Advancement.

Past gifts have included donations of library materials,artwork, benches, maple trees, software and leather furniture forthe library.

This year’s gift, which has yet to be specifically named, willbe some sort of exercise equipment for the weight room, accordingto second-year coordinator Ashley Rullestad of the Office ofCollege Advancement.

“They have not yet decided on what they will purchase,” saidRullestad. “It depends on what we need.”

According to co-leader of the Senior Class Gift Committee EmilyFinn, the decision to donate to the weight room came as a result ofthe collaboration of 26 seniors.

“We just thought that it would be used and a lot of studentswould participate,” said Finn. She also said that the group hadconsidered the possibility of eliptical running machines, but wereuncertain just yet as to whether or not that would be thepurchase.

According to Rullestad, who selected Finn and fellow senior AbbySmith to coordinate the project, the two were chosen because oftheir previous experience with the inner workings of Simpson aswell as their diversity.

“They’re both very well-connected on campus,” said Rullestad,who also mentioned that she tries to find people who come fromdifferent circles so that, once they form the larger committee,there are a varied cross-section of students involved.

Once they were selected by Rullestad, both Finn and Smith wereeach responsible for gathering 12 more seniors to form thecommittee.

From there, the group decided on what they would like to give toSimpson, and then began soliciting pledges from their fellowseniors to be donated to the Simpson Fund.

The Simpson Fund supports many scholarships and aid programs atthe college, so Rullestad said it was important for seniors tobegin donating early because it helps show that they support aninstitution which has supported them.

“We like for students, as a habit, to support Simpson,” saidRullestad. “It’s a good chance for students to come together as aclass and do that.”

“I think it’s important because some of us forget how much thecollege has given to us,” said Finn.

The pledge sheets, then, are a promise to the Simpson Fund tomake a donation of a certain amount, which will be payed by May 31,2005.

The theory behind this is that students will have an opportunityto work and earn this money rather than further their strainedcollege budgets.

Once all of the pledge sheets are returned, the Office ofCollege Advancement earmarks the money for the Simpson Fund andthen uses a $5,000 stipend of its budget to purchase the actualSenior Class Gift.

This helps ensure that all graduating classes are rememberedequally, regardless of participation or non-participation in thepledges.

According to Rullestad, 26 percent of last year’s senior classmade a donation, while this year’s class has already reached aparticipation of 34 percent.

Rullestad added that the pledge sheets are due by the end ofApril so that any senior who donates can be recognized in an insertof the graduation pamphlet.