Class of 2015 receives $10,000 from Class of 1965, reaches goal


Members of the 2015 class officers and the Senior Class Gift Committee attended a celebratory event at Rick Penske’s house Sunday to recognize the success of the Senior Class Gift Campaign. The class of 1965 awarded the class of 2015 $10,000 for the Class of 2015 Endowed Scholarship.

Rick Penske, ’65, along with others in his class hosted an event to celebrate the achievement of the Senior Class Gift Campaign. The goal of the campaign was to reach 650 senior donors — the class surpassed that goal.

John Schultz, the senior class president, explained how an ongoing senior class project has been to create a senior class gift. The class of 1965, which adopted the class of 2015, said if there were at least 650 senior contributions to the gift it would contribute money to the Class of 2015 Endowed Scholarship. Schultz said there was no minimum dollar amount for the contributions, just a minimum number of donors.

The goal was met April 10 after several events were held with the goal of increasing donors. However, this number was not final, since seniors could still choose to give after April 10.

Schultz explained how the ceremony involved the Class of 1965 since it adopted the Class of 2015 back in 2011. This adoption is in accordance with Lehigh tradition that has each incoming class adopted by the class 50 years its senior at the first-year student rally.

Schultz said there were about six or seven alumni at the event on Sunday. He said although this event was exclusive, it is good for students to attend events on campus involving Lehigh traditions and keeping in touch with their class.

“To be more involved with your class, attending these events is important,” Schultz said.

Casey Sharkey, the associate director of student philanthropy, also attended Sunday’s event. She said as of April 27, there were 659 senior donors, which is more than in the past several years.

“This week, we have a two-day event in which we hope to bring our donor count to over 700,” she said.

Sharkey also said the presentation of the $10,000 check at Penske’s home was very special.

“Mr. Penske and Mr. Varady congratulated the seniors, spoke highly of their work, and drew a lot of comparisons between the hard work of both the class of 1965 and 2015,” she said.

She said she hopes future class years will build a strong bond with their adopting class in order to strengthen and continue this wonderful tradition.

One of the alumni in attendance at the event was John Varady, the president of the Class of 1965. He explained how members of his class have stayed connected with their adopted class throughout the years. The start of the relationship was at the rally at the beginning of 2011 to welcome and adopt the incoming class, which is a Lehigh tradition.

“One of the things my class decided to do among its class leadership was to stress leaving a legacy to Lehigh,” Varady said. “We wanted to encourage the adopted class to have a legacy.”

To establish this legacy, Varady and others in his class said they would establish a Class of 2015 scholarship as long as there were at least 650 senior donors.

In regards to Sunday’s event, Varady said he enjoyed the event.

“I always enjoy engagements with current students, who might I add are a very impressive group of people,” Varady said.

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