Three seniors say they hope to give back to PLU by fundraising for a scholarship as their traditional graduation gift from the Class of 2016.
This year, more students will graduate from PLU than ever before. Seniors Evan Heringer, Zach Kuntz and Kristin Monroe have directed the Graduation Gift program for the Class of 2016. Their graduation gift is a scholarship to an incoming freshman.
“It’s important to give back to the community that gave us so much,” said Kuntz. The seniors said that they really want to show their appreciation for the school who made them who they are. They wanted to thank PLU for the many scholarships and grants they give students as well. According to the admissions department, 97 percent of students applying qualify for some sort of scholarship at PLU. “I don’t think that a lot of us would have been able to come to PLU if not for the scholarships,” said Monroe.
While the Office of Alumni oversees the Graduation Gift, most of the work has been accomplished by the ambition of the three seniors. All communication majors, Heringer, Kuntz and Monroe said that they have been very busy orchestrating the event. The seniors said they’ve designed a Facebook page, created a logo, held focus groups and even surveyed their class with 198 respondents. “We wanted to make sure it reflected the general idea of the senior population,” Kuntz said.
The seniors also said that they want this year’s gift to be different, hoping to draw in as many students as possible. They said they want to raise more awareness so that people will know about the events before they happen.
This year Thomas and Patty Krise have promised to donate money to the scholarship depending on senior participation. For every one percent students donate, the Krises will contribute $100. If the full 100 percent of students participate in the events, then President Krise said he will donate $25,000 in order to endow the student scholarship. Involvement from the full senior class may seem like a stretch, but Heringer said, “We are optimistic.”
Seniors Heringer, Kuntz and Monroe planned three events to fundraise money for the gift. The first event, Thursday April 14th, is a 90s trivia night. The Cave will hold the game night and give out prizes like Farelli’s gift cards, the seniors said. The second event is hosted by The Haven bar Friday May 13th. The seniors said drinks will be 15 percent off and all sales will go towards the graduation gift.
For the last event, the seniors said they hope to take a different spin on an old tradition. They plan to make picking up caps and gowns a more social experience. This may be the last time some seniors see each other before they graduate. Heringer, Kuntz and Monroe said they felt this would be a great opportunity to combine some goodbyes with a farewell gift to next year’s class.
Heringer said, “We want to focus on being more together and center on bringing people together, helping future lutes in the process.” Students willing to help with can attend the fundraising events or donate online.