Fundraising still needed for USU’s 2009 Senior gift

Three large maps of USU campus were placed in separate areas around the Taggart Student Center on Saturday. One of the maps was paid for as part of the class of 2009 senior gift, but the project is not yet wholly paid for, said Tonya Davis, associate director of USU’s Annual Fund and adviser to the Student Giving Committee. Although the 2009 senior class has paid $4,400 toward the sign, it still needs to raise another $1,600 to finish its $6,000 obligation, Davis said.Jordy Guth, architect at USU Facilities, said the $6,000 signs are part of a larger project on campus way-finding, paid for with state capital improvement dollars. The state capital improvement money is given to state-owned facilities based on need and doesn’t necessarily come every year, she said.”We were able to get part of that money for signage, and next year we actually have a little more money so we’ll continue to do work in the same vein for way-finding,” said Guth. “We’re calling this our Campus Way-finding Plan. (These signs) are one piece of the bigger puzzle.”When asked about the seemingly high price for each sign Guth said, “When you’re in the construction industry, that really doesn’t seem like that much. The signs themselves are expensive, but they are very high quality. We don’t want to put in stuff that we’re going to have to replace in a couple of years.”Guth said the cost also involves landscaping, irrigation system and construction expenses.Part of the reason for the $1,600 shortfall still owed to Facilities by the 2009 senior class was the donation of $1,900 of the $6,300 raised by the 2009 senior class to USU’s Student Emergency Fund to help struggling students pay for unexpected expenses, Davis said. Seniors who donated to the 2009 senior gift were allowed the option to direct their $20.10 donation either to the campus-map project or to the Student Emergency Fund, Davis said. Money from the fund will be distributed starting spring 2010 for non-tuition related financial emergencies, said Davis. Students who need them will be able to apply for the funds and a small committee will award them on an individual basis until the funds are depleted, Davis said.”The senior gift is a way to give back to the university,” said Amber Neil, junior public relations major who took over as Student Giving Committee chair during the summer. “Even though tuition seems like a lot, it doesn’t pay for everything you receive here. It’s … a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the university.”Neil said the committee is asking the December graduates of 2009 to chip in and help raise the final $1,600 needed to fulfill the senior gift commitment. Members of the class of 2009 who wish to donate may contact Amber Neil at or by calling 797-1239. Neil said she also needs more students to join the 2009 committee.Neil said one idea for the class of 2010 senior gift includes rehabilitating the old fountain located on the hillside on the north side of the Living Learning Center. The fountain used to be popular for wedding photos and evening gatherings but fell into disrepair over the years, Neil said. Another idea is to add lights and a sound system to the amphitheater on Old Main Hill or even move it to another part of the hill, Neil said.”We are waiting for the class of 2010 to submit ideas, and then we’ll vote in the spring,” said Neil.

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