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3 students with arms wrapped around eachother

Class of 2016 breaks senior giving record

New graduates start Wofford legacy by making their first gifts to the college.

Before they walked across the stage on Commencement weekend, the Class of 2016 began building their Wofford legacy by making their first gifts to the college. 

Wofford’s senior giving initiative was launched in 2013. As the years have gone on, each senior class has broken the participation record of the previous class. This year was no different. 

The goal for the Class of 2016 was 51 percent participation in The Benefactors Senior Giving Campaign. An amazing 56 percent of the Class of 2016 made a gift to either The Wofford Fund or the Terrier Club, raising more than $4,500 for the college. The number of leadership gifts ($100 and above) doubled from the Class of 2015’s campaign last year. 

In celebration and appreciation of this exciting milestone, Nayef and Prema Samhat hosted a party for all senior donors at the President’s Home.

Forty-one senior ambassadors led efforts in The Benefactors Senior Giving Campaign. These leaders, with varying academic and extracurricular backgrounds, were nominated by faculty, coaches and other staff members to encourage their fellow classmates to impact future Wofford students by making their first gifts to the college. 

Erin Hunter ‘13, assistant director of The Wofford Fund, coordinates The Benefactors Senior Giving Campaign and sees firsthand the effectiveness of a student-led giving initiative. 

“Whenever you’re asked to give back by your peers, it means more. Giving the students ownership over the program really motivates them. Our student participants are learning more about how their dollars are put to work and the incredible impact of giving back,” says Hunter. 

Hunter believes the transition in January 2016 from the Annual Fund to The Wofford Fund, which offers five allocations — Area of Greatest Need, Faculty & Staff Development, Library & Technology, Scholarship Support and Student Experiences— played a role in the increase of student participation. 

“We saw seniors taking advantage of the fact that they had choices of where they wanted their money to go. To give them the choice to direct their gift not only increased support, but also increased enthusiasm,” she says. “Our goal with The Benefactors Senior Giving Campaign is to introduce students to the idea of giving back. As they move from students to alumni, it's important that they understand that their experience at Wofford was made possible by the generations of Wofford supporters who came before them, and to continue that tradition.” 

by Ryann McCall ’13