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Class Gift campaign encourages new graduates to invest in future Panthers

Class Gift campaign encourages new graduates to invest in future Panthers

March 1, 2017 at 12:00am

A new campaign by the FIU Alumni Association encourages graduating students to give back to FIU with a donation based on their class year.

Students graduating in 2016, the campaign’s inaugural year, were asked to donate $20.16 each to benefit scholarships for future students and other university projects. Future donations will continue to correspond with each class’ graduation year.

“It’s a small, manageable way for students to say thank you to FIU as they leave and begin their lives after university,” said Alumni Relations coordinator Beatriz Newborn.

Students were given the choice to designate their donations to a specific scholarship, such as the First-Generation Scholarship Fund, their college or school, or a program fund. Students who donated received a commemorative pin to wear on their gown at graduation. Between the Spring, Summer and Fall semester graduations, more than 1,000 students participated in the Class Gift campaign, raising more than $22,000.


Graduating students who make the Class Gift donation receive this pin to wear on their gowns at commencement.

“Students take pride in knowing they’re helping fellow Panthers,” said Newborn. “They’re cultivating and supporting those who are in our community.”

Amanda Cantillo ’16, who graduated in December with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management, said she was proud to give back to the university that kick started her career. “FIU has done so much for me, enriching my experience here, and I wanted to give back, even if it’s a small $20.16, to the next Panthers.”

Now a recruiter for FIU, Cantillo says she sees a lot of prospective students who are interested in FIU, but who would need scholarships to attend. “The more that’s collected, the more that can be done to help someone else. If there’s more to give, the university can help more students.”

The Class Gift campaign is an opportunity for the Alumni Association to connect with current students one-on-one and educate them about the importance of giving back to their alma mater now, as students, and in the future, as alumni, to ensure that Panthers continue to have the best educational opportunities.

“The funds collected from the Class Gift campaign go right back to supporting our students and the university’s greatest needs. It is our hope to inspire and motivate every graduate to give back to the university by sharing their time, talent and treasure,” said Duane Wiles, associate vice president for Alumni Relations & Annual Giving and executive director of the Alumni Association. “This campaign is the perfect way to engage new alumni and begin cultivating FIU’s future.”

There is an added benefit, said Cantillo, to giving back to FIU as an alumnus: “You have associated your name with FIU, and when you donate to the university, even a small amount, you’re helping build new buildings and programs, and you’re adding value to your degree. If the university goes up, so does your degree. That’s worth leaps and bounds.”

Wiles offered this call to action to future FIU graduates: “Students, your small, individual gift, combined with those from your classmates, will add up to make a huge impact and ensure a vibrant future for our students and our university.”

For more information on the Class Gift campaign, click here.