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Senior Class to Donate To ‘Peace Garden’ Fund

By Amerson Lin


Five years from now, MIT will receive a brand new garden -- “The Peace Garden” -- to surround the area outside the glass corridor linking Lobby 16 to 26-100.

This garden, which will feature sculpture, will be created with money from the five-year accumulated sum from the Class of 2002 Peace Garden Fund, this year’s Class Project, which kicks off today.

Surveys inspire Senior Gift idea

“After sifting through surveys and suggestions, including ‘having hippos in the moat’, we finally decided on the Peace Garden Fund,” said Yolanda Fan ’02, a member of the Senior Gift committee.

Since October, the team has been meeting up with advisor, faculty members and department coordinators to finalize details on the Class Project. The senior class was surveyed regarding the Senior Gift and they responded with a preference to donating something physical as opposed to something like a scholarship, said Helen H. Chuah ’02, another member of the Senior Gift committee.

Many of the seniors wanted the Senior Gift to be one that would beautify the campus, given that MIT is constantly plagued with unsightly construction work.

Some seniors also mentioned that the Senior Gift could have some attachment to the attacks of Sept. 11.

Class project a peace dedication

Putting together the ideas that came from the senior class, the committee decided that the Peace Garden would be a beautification project not just in memory of the Sept. 11 attacks but more of a dedication to peace worldwide. “We feel that all these things going on affect our class a lot,” said Maria S. Jelescu ’02.

The Senior Gift Campaign Kickoff will be held today in the Bush Room from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. A donation booth in Lobby 10 will be set up during the entire week and living group representatives will be trying to reach out to the senior community. Seniors may make their gifts at the Kickoff or any time thereafter.

The goal is to beat the previous record of 39 percent class participation, Jelescu said.

Sudeb C. Dalai ’02, Class of 2002 President, said, “it’s not so much about giving back to the Institute as it is about supporting something that you want to change at MIT. This year’s Class Project is a great reflection and a unique statement of our values as a class.”

Garden just part of Senior Gift

The Peace Garden Fund, however, is only one of the avenues that seniors can contribute to MIT. Seniors can actually specify that their contribution go to a different activity or program, such as an academic or athletic department, UROP or a scholarship.

In conjunction with Senior Gift is the Fibonacci Challenge, proposed by Alumni Association President L. Robert Johnson ’63 two years ago. The Fibonacci Challenge aims to encourage seniors to commit to a five-year contribution plan by having Johnson match every gift for each year of the challenge. The amount of the match is based on participation in the Senior Gift Campaign.