BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Senior Challenge at the University at
Buffalo has achieved two of its highest totals of recent years,
thanks to the UB Class of 2004.
To date, the Class of 2004 Senior Challenge has raised $11,795
in commitments from 471 seniors.
That's a significant increase compared to last year, when 314
members of the UB Class of 2003 gave $8,551. Only one senior class
in the past seven years – the Class of 2000 – has had
more donors (478) and a higher pledge total ($16,995). Pledges and
gifts to this year's Senior Challenge will continue to be accepted
through the summer.
Jessica Yacovoni, chair of the Senior Challenge Committee and a
Class of 2005 finance major, said the number of students giving to
this year's drive has been impressive.
"I'm excited by the response and by the dollar amount we've
raised so far," Yacovoni said. "The Class of 2004 has proven
already that it can meet significant challenges."
The Senior Challenge began in 1984 as a way for graduating
students to give back to UB. The money raised often is used for a
senior-class gift to UB. Past gifts have included the marble tile
seal in the Student Union lobby on the North (Amherst) Campus, a
clock on the face of Norton Hall, flags in the Student Union
representing various nationalities of UB students and a welcome
marker at the Rensch Road entrance. The senior classes of 1999 and
2000 designated their gifts go to the Random Acts of Kindness Fund,
which is designed to help undergraduate students experiencing
financial difficulties to stay in school.
This year's seniors began a new tradition by using part of the
total funds raised to give a gift that keeps on growing -- a tree,
which was planted near the Flint Loop on the North (Amherst) Campus
during UB Pride Day on April 23. The current senior class intends
its tree to be the first of a series of trees to be planted in the
Flint Loop area by subsequent senior classes at UB.
Jennifer A. McDonough, UB vice president for university
advancement, said she is impressed with the current senior class'
giving and with its beginning a new tradition.
"This is how philanthropy starts, and I'm encouraged to discover
that these students, soon to be alumni, understand this and have
been willing to give back to UB at such an early time," McDonough
said. "Their gifts will remain and grow in several ways on campus
long after they have graduated."
The Class of 2004 will send the rest of the Senior Challenge
donations to the school, program or area at UB designated by each