Every year, the graduating class raises money to donate a gift to the college to commemorate their time at Meredith College. This year, it’s the Class of 2023’s turn to leave their mark on campus. In the past years, classes have donated benches, trees, recreational spaces and even a crosswalk. Last year, the Class of 2022 donated permanent hammock swings.
The Class of 2023’s goal has been to raise funds for Meredith’s Disability Services. Consepcion Cruz-Valencia, the Class of 2023 Gift co-chair, stated that she and her co-chair, Rebecca Lopez-Bello, “hope the senior class gift will positively impact future students with disabilities.” They plan to donate the money and let disability services decide what to do with it.
This was not their original plan, however. Cruz-Valencia stated that their “initial class gift project idea was to build a ramp in the amphitheater, but it was not feasible since most similar projects cost [over] $20,000.”
Some seniors wish that the gift was more specific, with a student anonymously stating that “students would be better able to gauge impact and more inclined to donate if they understood how the funds were used.”
Seniors also gave ideas of how the money could be put towards a more specific project while still contributing to the disability services, including signs to show people where accessible entrances are, reconfiguring the campus map to show accessible routes and braille signage.
One senior also stated that while they know that confidentiality is important at disability services, “if confidentiality is able to be maintained, [they are] sure that many students would like to know how their donation will positively impact the campus community.”
When it came to revealing what the class gift would be, many were left unaware. During “Seniorsgiving,” the gift was revealed to attendees, but many seniors were not in attendance and did not learn about the class gift until days later from their fellow classmates.
When asked about this, Cruz-Valencia stated that she and Lopez-Bello “were unaware that people did not know the class gift would be revealed at our Seniorsgiving event” and that their “advisor sent out an email to all seniors to RSVP” with an official announcement for the event.
To keep up to date with the senior class gift, follow @mc2023classgift on Instagram. Co-chairs Cruz-Valencia and Lopez-Bello will keep everyone updated on that page about future events coming up in the spring semester.
By Riley Heeb, Reporter