Senior Class Gift to Fund ServiceBy Venkatesh Satish
Associate News editor
As this year's senior gift, the Class of 1996 will create a fund to help sponsor community service projects coordinated by the Public Service Center.
"We want a gift that enhances the lives of fellow students," said Senior Gift Committee Chair Nathan D. Boyd '96.
Currently, the PSC pays 75 percent of the salaries of volunteering students, with independent agencies covering the remainder, according to Emily B. Sandberg, director of the Public Service Center.
"I think this fund is critical," Sandberg said. It "will really benefit these agencies that don't have any funds" to cover salaries not paid by the PSC, she said.
The PSC oversees a number of service programs, including City Days, Links, and paid fellowships during Independent Activities Period and the summer, Sandberg said.
The Senior Gift Committee's goals are to raise $69,600 over the next five years and to have a 50 percent participation rate in the program, Boyd said.
While some of the details of the fund have not yet been decided, the committee's plan is to establish a fund that will grow in size, with the interest used to subsidize projects, Boyd said.
Committee to solicit for donations
Next week, the committee will begin to solicit seniors to contribute to the gift, Boyd said. Students may divide their pledges over the five years in a number of ways, he said.
"This class is really enthusiastic," Boyd said. "We've already had people sending in checks and pledge forms. We are anticipating to have really outstanding results."
Seniors may also designate other areas where their gifts will be used, Boyd said.
The Class of 1946 will add $5,000 in contributions if there is 25 percent participation in the gift and will donate an additional $5,000 to the PSC fund if the participation rate reaches 30 percent, Boyd said.
Committee considers ideas
Other gift ideas included improving the Student Center Reading Room and establishing an improved booth in Lobby 10, Boyd said.
In deciding on the gift, the committee felt a fund of some type would be most appropriate, Boyd said. "When you have material gifts, they have maintenance costs, and what MIT needs is a gift that helps financial aid.''
Additionally, "when we come back years from now, [the fund] will still exist," Boyd said.
"I am excited because [the gift] encourages students to do something that I feel is necessary - community service," said Senior Class President Matthew J. Turner '96.
"The gift committee needs to be applauded for making such a strong selection," Turner said. The choice "shows what seniors should be, and that's role models."
In coming up with an idea for the gift, the committee consulted with advisers Barbara A. Luby, coordinator of parent and student programs for the Alumni Association, and Monica L. Niles '91, coordinator of the parents program in the Alumni Association.
The committee included seniors Jonathan A. Allen, Marwan M. Kazimi, Stephen A. Morales, Maromi K. Sakurai, Shruti Sehra, Stephanie A. Sparvero, and Linda Tsang, and juniors Noah J. Breslow and Laura L. DePaoli.