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Syracuse University seniors use final semester to make a difference by kick-starting 2010 Senior Class Giving campaign

February 05, 2010

Veronica Hotaling

What’s on the mind of last-semester seniors? New classes, capstone projects, internships, building a stand-out resume and the worry of dismal job prospects? All of these would be expected. And now there’s one more—making a difference at the very place that has shaped them into who they are today. Building off of the Class of 2009 and its reinvigorated senior class giving effort, this year’s senior class has announced the start of the 2010 Senior Class Giving campaign.

Class of 2010 students hope to rally their classmates to participate in a fundraising effort that encourages giving in support of whatever part of SU has meaning for them. That includes any number of opportunities, from research initiatives spearheaded by a special faculty member to scholarships, student life, an individual school or college, and facility and technology upgrades. Whatever it is that has helped students get where they are today can be supported to ensure that future SU students have that same experience.

“Every day, we see what a difference giving back can make. If your education is made possible by scholarships and financial aid, or made better by special programming or high-tech equipment, giving by alumni and friends is often behind it,” says senior Muss Akram, campaign co-chair. “Our years at SU are special, and giving back to a place that has such meaning for us gives us a chance to establish a legacy for the Class of 2010.” This year’s theme, “Be a Class Act,” encourages seniors to work together in creating that unified legacy at SU.

Both Akram and his fellow 2010 “Be a Class Act” co-chair, senior Carlye Eder, have fundraising experience already, starting out their freshman year as student callers at The Fund for Syracuse and rising through the ranks to their current positions of student managers. They are joined on the “Be a Class Act” committee by a core group of seniors who are committed to soliciting funds from their classmates, parents and professors, as well as recruiting other seniors to spread the word and join the effort. “I’ve been extremely fortunate to attend this great university. It’s important to know that Syracuse is dependent on philanthropy, but you can’t just wait for others, it has to be up to us,” says senior Sam Clarvit.

Students can give as much or as little as they want, but are encouraged to give $20.10 to commemorate their class year. The amount that’s given is not as important as the giving itself. Ultimately, the campaign’s true measure of success will be to achieve as much participation as possible from the 3,000-plus members of the senior class. Gifts can be given in honor of a senior class member or a student can give in honor of a particular faculty member. Students’ friends and family can also support the effort.

A website,, has been created to allow class members, friends and family to give online. Students can also call (315) 443-3926 to give via credit card or submit gifts in person to Syracuse University Advancement Services, Suite 214, Women’s Building, 820 Comstock Ave., weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Everyone who contributes to the 2010 Senior Class Giving campaign will be recognized in the Senior Class Honor Roll on the Class Act website. Seniors will also receive an official “I’m a Class Act” pin, a designation in the keepsake “Register of Graduates” publication and other recognition throughout the year.

“We’re excited that the Class of 2010 has embraced this initiative. It’s clear that the class understands the impact giving can have on other students,” says Tammy Schlafer, SU executive director of annual giving programs. “They truly are a class act, and they’re setting a great example for next year’s seniors.”

The money raised by the Class of 2010 will also be counted in The Campaign for Syracuse University’s total. “I’m thrilled to see that the students are leading this effort,” says Brian Sischo, SU vice president for development. “They should be proud of their commitment to the University. We certainly are, and our alumni can be proud to welcome them as the newest members of the SU alumni community. We offer our sincerest thanks and wish them all the best.”

The College of Human Ecology is encouraging its seniors to give back at its 100 Days Until Graduation Event on Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Inn Complete. For more information, e-mail Amy Rood at e If seniors would like to make their own solicitations, a “Be a Class Act” fundraising kit is available. Students can e-mail Melissa Cassidy at to request their kit.

To learn more about The Campaign for Syracuse University, visit

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