It is a tradition at Maryville College for the senior class to band together and give something back to the College in the form of a senior gift. In years past, the senior class has raised money for a variety of things including Frisbee golf for the college woods, but unfortunately, the senior gift is not always a success.
When Brittany Miller became the senior class president, she knew she wanted to get seniors excited about giving again. Some suggested that she not worry about the gift since it hadn’t succeeded in the past; however, Miller saw the importance of traditions like the senior gift.
“The Senior Class President is the one position in SGA that doesn’t end when you graduate,” said Miller. “I went into it knowing that and part of my role is continuing our ties with the College. One of our roles as alumni is giving back to the college, and I think that getting students used to the role of giving back to the college and not getting from it is important.”
The scholarship entitled the SENIOR Scholarship embodies the MC Covenant through its name which is an acronym for Scholarship for Education, Never-ceasing Integrity, and Open Respect. The fundraising goal for the scholarship is $2,016 to represent the Class of 2016. It is a one year scholarship that will be awarded to a current or future MC student who demonstrates need. A board will be assembled to select the recipient.
“We wanted it [the scholarship] to be general so everyone felt like they had a reason to donate because it was applicable to them,” said Miller.
Miller says they chose to fundraise for a scholarship because they wanted it to be something that seniors would feel motivated to donate to. Since nearly every person at MC has been helped by scholarships, it seemed like a logical way to give back. It is also distinct from donating just to the college because the students know that their money will help a student in need.
“It’s hard to get people to rally behind something that hasn’t influenced their time here,” Miller said.
Over the course of the semester, the senior gift committee has fundraised in many ways. They’ve sent out email blasts to the senior class and hosted two “Pie a Senior” days where students could pay $2 to pay participating seniors in the face.
The minimum fundraising amount for the SENIOR Scholarship to occur is $2,000. If the senior class does not reach this mark, the money will still contribute to scholarships by being put into the scholarship portion of the Maryville Fund to help with existing scholarships. As of now, they have raise $800 through fundraisers and donations.
A check will be presented to the College at the Senior BBQ on May 13. Until then, there is still time to donate, and Miller is still hopeful about reaching their goal.
“Right now, if every senior that hasn’t donated were to donate $5, we would reach our goal,” Miller said.
Anyone, not just seniors, can donate to the senior gift by visiting the website alumniandfriends.maryvillecollege.edu and selecting “Senior Gift” in the gift giving menu.
Though Miller encourages more donations, she said she will still be proud regardless of whether the $2,000 is met.
“My main goal for my presidency was to get seniors to rally around something, and I think that this year we’ve had really great participation from the senior class in general, so that in itself is a success even if we don’t reach the goal,” Miller said.