Miscellaneous Charitable Reunion Stories


Pensacola High graduates donate computer

With a little help from the past, Pensacola (Florida) High School students are a little closer to the future. The Class of 1956 donated a new computer to the school. Five years ago, the alumni donated a big-screen TV for the media center.

It is part of their commitment to make sure the youngest Tigers have the best technology.

“We hope to do this periodically,” said retired Army Brig. Gen. Michael Ferguson. “We hope this enhances capability for information technology.” The computer creates a scrolling electronic bulletin board. All teachers have to do is turn on the TV.

Alumna Cynthia Dean admitted they originally wanted to donate books. But the school said a computer would help them out more.

From a story by Nicole Lozare in the Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola, Florida

Class of 1956 leaves a $3,000 footprint

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its graduation from East High School in Auburn, New York, the Class of 1956 presented a check for $3,000 to the Auburn Education Foundation. Class members wanted to leave a “footprint” in Auburn that would satisfy their desire to pay back the community for an excellent education.

The Auburn Education Foundation’s mission directly benefits local school-age children. Organizers promoted the idea at the class reunion dinner in September, and classmates pledged their support.

The project grew into a national effort when class president George Ireland in Rhode Island and classmate George Crolick in Minnesota spearheaded the project’s promotion. Crolick enlisted the assistance of Operation Auburn, an electronic newsletter to publicize the campaign.

Back in Auburn, John Butera and Dick Boedicker followed up with classmates who promised contributions. A mailing was sent to all classmates, 75 percent of whom live outside of Auburn. Alumni were very supportive.

Not content to simply make its own donation, the committee has contacted organizers from the East High Classes of 1957 and 1958 to make similar donations.

The Auburn Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public foundation whose mission is to provide for innovative programs that enhance education through extended learning opportunities in the Auburn public schools. To date, it has funded 27 creative projects through its educator grants program and has developed meaningful partnerships with area businesses and organizations.

From an article by Leslie Leary in the Auburn Citizen, Auburn, New York

Class makes $15,000 donation

Generosity is one tie that holds the Huntington (West Virginia) High School Class of 1960 together. A group of about 200 graduates who frequently e-mail one another decided to donate the class’s memorial fund (which they had been collecting since high school) to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center for restoration of the theater. Classmate Joe A. McVay Jr., who attended the theatre as a child with his grandmother, matched the amount raised for a total $15,000 donation.

The Class of 1960 had a strong interest in preserving the theater. All the graduates had stories or memories they recall about the Keith-Albee, and all of them wanted to see it restored.

From a story by Krystal S. Mayville in The Parthenon, Huntington, West Virginia

Rare gifts rain on Yale

David Richards, a real estate lawyer in New York City, spent the last quarter century hunting down all things Rudyard Kipling. For his class’s 40th reunion, he was giving it all to Yale University, including first-edition copies of The Just So Stories, tea sets, posters and cigar boxes decorated with the British writer’s face. The gift, worth $1.4 million, puts Yale’s Kipling collection on par with those at Harvard and the University of Texas.

Anyone can write a check. But for the love of Yale, some alumni have given sapphires from a gemologist, deep sea coral from a marine biologist and British poetry from a dealer in Americana. The treasures are not counted in Yale’s $18 billion endowment.

Dwight Heath, a retired anthropology professor, had a similar idea when he donated about 2,000 West African masks, spears and metal bracelets to Yale, to add to the art gallery’s new African art section. The university also received several thousand specimens of deep sea invertebrates from two marine biologists who studied at Yale and wanted to build on the collection that had inspired them as students.

From a story by Kim Martineau in the Hartford Courant, Hartford, Connecticut

Reunion classes increase giving

More than 3,200 alumni and guests gathered to renew their Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) connections and learn the totals given by various classes. Classes from 1922 through 2007 donated a total of $53,869,125. The Class of 1957–in their new red blazers granted at their 50th reunion–added to their class history of philanthropy with a five-year giving total of $12,568,341. A total of 68.7 percent of class members made a gift.

Three classes set new giving records: 80th reunion Class of 1927 $8,902,542; 45th reunion Class of 1962 $8,848,145; and 35th reunion Class of 1972 $3,774,133. The 60th reunion Class of 1947 reached a notable participation level at 81.6 percent.

From a story by Nancy DuVergne Smith in MIT News, Massachusetts

$25,000 for 25th reunion gift

Mount View Class of 1982 in Thorndike, Maine, gathered to celebrate its 25th reunion, and a group of classmates set their sights on raising $25,000 for a class gift to the new Mount View Performing Arts Center.The idea for the gift began with a challenge from ’82 alumnus Rob Nielsen, who lives in Tennessee. He invited his classmates to join him in supporting the Mount View Performing Arts Center campaign when he contributed $10,000 to the campaign.“Rob said if the class of 1982 can raise $10,000, he would match it with another $10,000 gift,” said Alicia Nichols, campaign director. Raising $15,000 as a class was proposed, which together with Nielsen’s gift would mean a $25,000 gift to Mount View in honor of its 25th reunion.

A letter went to 115 classmates asking them to consider a gift of at least $100 in addition to $4000 already raised. Children and grandchildren of the class of 1982 will be able to grace that very stage when the new school opens in fall 2009.

Reunion contacts are Eileen Ellis, 207–722–3122, eaellis14@yahoo.com; Deb Piper, 608-873-0353, deb.piper@wpt.org; Tim Fallon, 610–965–8821, tfallon@tsfconsulting.net.

From a story in VillageSoup, Belfast, Maine


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