Class of 2014: Seniors Set New Fundraising Record With Class Gift

A large display in Great Hall showcases the names of this year's Senior Class Gift participants.
The Senior Class Gift is marked in brick each year near the Archway that students walk through on commencement day.

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Class of 2014 has set a 20-year fundraising record with its Senior Class Gift. Nearly 170 seniors donated and pledged, surpassing all classes since 1991.

Their gifts will benefit:

  • Experiential learning – Support opportunities like study abroad and the Capitol Hill Internship Program
  •  Intramurals – Maintain and improve campus games
  • Residential education – Help maintain and update residence halls
  •  Archway Fund – Help student programs with the highest need

In the last few years, seniors have also supported the Center for Student Involvement and science education. Their gifts to the Archway Fund also helped such areas as faculty salaries, campus improvements and student programs with the greatest need.

 Seniors have a variety of reasons for giving to NWU.

“My life has been touched by the generosity of others; I hope my gifts can do the same,” said Kelsey Arends of Lincoln, president of the Senior Class Council, the group spearheading the Senior Class Gift. “I think it’s important that the opportunities I have been granted – to connect with career possibilities, begin to develop an informed global perspective, and meaningfully interact with the talented community at Nebraska Wesleyan – are ensured for the following generations of prairie wolves through our own gifts as well as others’.”

“This year's senior class contribution is record-breaking, and I think that accurately reflects our class,” Arends said. “This year's seniors are generous, they are over-achievers, and they have set a new standard for future senior classes.”

The Senior Class Council raised the gifts one person at a time through personal visits to seniors throughout the academic year. Shelby Travis of Albion was the first senior to give to the class gift.

“I want the students who come after me to have the same great experience that I did at NWU,” Travis said. “If it wasn't for the senior classes before us, the opportunities we had at NWU would not have been available. All of my experiences at NWU have greatly shaped who I am as an individual today, and I want future students at NWU to have the same experience.”

Council members are Kelsey Arends, president, Leslie Graves, vice president, Hilary Krantz, Colton Schied, Ali Stajduhar and Adam Winters.

The Senior Class Gift is commemorated on the brick near the Archway, located at 50th Street and St. Paul Ave. Students walk through the arch when they matriculate as first-year students and again when they graduate. Students who participated in the Senior Class Gift are also recognized during a special pinning ceremony at the end of the spring semester.