first_imgSince 1906, every graduating class has presented a parting gift to the University. This year, after more than 1,200 votes were cast through an online ballot and Grad Fest voting table, USC’s Class of 2016 voted on a scholarship fund as their senior gift.James Gagnon, the associate director of Annual Giving Programs, serves as a liaison  to student volunteers to spread the word about the Senior Gift program to their peers.“The USC Senior Gift is a time-honored tradition that unifies each graduating class and recognizes its unique contributions to USC,” Gagnon said in an email to the Daily Trojan. “It’s one of USC’s oldest traditions, predating even Tommy Trojan. The Senior Class Gift provides an opportunity for each senior to foster their legacy as a member of the Trojan Family and spread the Trojan spirit.”Gagnon shared examples of past senior gifts.“Students that walk by VKC and enjoy its bell-tower music can thank the Class of 2009, who supported its Carillion restoration as their class gift. Students that enjoy a swim at the Lyon Center Pool when it’s chilly out can thank the Class of 2010, who supported the installation of a solar thermal energy system as their class gift,” Gagnon said. “The Class of 2016 will be joining the classes of 2013 and 2014 in providing scholarship support for students based on merit and need.”This year, seniors were asked to rank their top choices between four potential gift options.The USC Class of 2016 Scholarship Fund received 36 percent of the votes. Twenty-seven percent of seniors voted for a USC Facilities Management Services Recognition Day, 23 percent voted for a USC Career Services Dream Dollars Program and 14 percent voted for USC Volunteer Center Friends and Neighbors Day Program.Megan Lee, a senior majoring in neuroscience and the assistant director of University Affairs in the Undergraduate Student Government, was delighted by the results.“The generous scholarships that USC gave me were instrumental in my decision to attend the University,” Lee said. “They made it possible for my parents, who are also Trojans, to put both me and my sister through USC and keep the Cardinal and Gold blood running through our family.”Starting on Monday, the Class of 2016 Senior Gift campaign went into full effect, and undergraduate seniors have the opportunity to participate via email, phone and in-person donation booths. Marketing efforts including a phone outreach and a crowdfunding project that will also encourage people to donate.“I’m definitely planning on donating,” said Jay Hasegawa, a senior majoring in economics. “I think it’s important that future students are supported in their studies and college experience and I’d like to do my part in paying it forward.”Last year, the Class of 2015 matched a university record by raising a total of $25,000 with 96 percent participation. This year, the Senior Gift Advisory Board is hoping to get 97 percent of the Class of 2016 to vote and exceed the $25,000 goal.The campaign will last through June 30.last_img read more