Funds raised for the senior class gift count toward the ISU Foundation's "Forever True, For Iowa State" campaign. About $726 million has been raised in pursuit of a $1.1 billion goal by June 30, 2020.
For the sixth consecutive year, the senior class designated its parting gift to a scholarship fund. Initiated by the class of 2012, the Senior Class Gift Scholarship fund has provided about $5,000 to four students since the first award in 2014.
"We accept contributions for many areas on campus," said Mary Evanson, executive director of annual and special gifts in the ISU Foundation. "Over 500 new graduates contribute to Iowa State annually, with most of the funds going toward the class gift scholarship."
Evanson said the 2017 spring graduates already raised more than $23,000 for the scholarship fund. Winter graduates will add to the total.
"We're really focusing on the scholarship fund for the senior gift," Evanson said. "We've gone away from project-based gifts. It's difficult to raise enough for those projects to come to fruition in a timely fashion."
The ISU Foundation created a video highlighting the scholarship fund, sending it to graduates via email and posting it on social media. A phone campaign also was used.
The scholarship fund balance stands at about $63,000. Evanson said that as the balance grows, the payouts will, too. There were single recipients in 2014 and 2015, and two scholarships awarded in 2016.
"The only criteria for the scholarship is that the student is an Iowa State senior who has filled out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form," Evanson said.