The Senior Class, also known at the F13RCE Class, successfully raised $5,000 for their class gift, beating last year’s class participation at 46 percent.
The Senior Class Council made their presence known on campus by hosting several fund-raising events during senior week as well as tabling at Adams Plaza with little red piggy banks. The class council has been spear-headed by Class President Aisha Gonzalez, Accountant Dawna Williams, and Class Advisors Allison Marin and Laura Engelken.
“It’s not just about the money,” Engelken said. “It’s about cultivating that sense of ‘I want to give back to Mills.’”
Senior week has resulted in very many successes, including the INDY 13 Race, the tricycle race that took place on Holmgren Meadow. Its success led to making it an annual event, according to Williams. The senior auction also raised a total of $4,740 with donations like a vacation home in Mexico and a traditional quilt, made from donated Mills t-shirts.
The red piggy banks were a marketing strategy created by Williams. According to Williams, this idea was inspired by a photo of pig in red boots she came upon while researching marketing strategies online. The idea was to allow seniors to slowly but surely fill up their own pigs with their spare change. The small size of these pigs made it feasible for each student to donate something, thus allowing the class participation to grow. The pigs hold about $10 in change and some students have filled up multiple pigs.
Williams and Gonzalez began planning for the year in the summer of 2012. They set out to leave a legacy behind with the senior class gift. Their original goal was to raise $5,000, which was just enough for the scholarship to be awarded to any incoming student as a part of their financial aid packet as well as budget relief for student services.
Historically, according to Marin, class participation has been below 9 percent. Last year’s graduating class, the class of 2012, set the bar high at 42 percent class participation.
President Alecia DeCoudreaux promised to gift the class with $2,013 if they reached 35 percent and Mills Trustee Kathleen Burke promised to do the same if they reached 45 percent. The senior class is currently at 46 percent and counting. According to Williams, the previous class only included the Spring graduates as a part of their class. This year, Winter graduates are also included, giving the class an additional 67 graduates. With 233 Spring graduates, the entire graduating class adds up to 300 students.
“It’s not just the senior council, but it speaks highly of the senior class that people have this desire to be engaged and to make it happen,” Engelken said.