Under the guidance of Jennifer Stone, director of annual giving, seven student leaders are spearheading a new Presidents’ Club initiative to increase leadership-level giving and commitment to Colgate among undergraduates.
Launched in October 2015, this initiative enables students to join the Presidents’ Club for just $13 a year — a contribution that increases annually after graduation — and immediately begin to impact the campus in a specific area of their choosing, such as athletics, student organizations, academic departments, or the Colgate Fund. By embracing the sense of lifelong connectedness to the Colgate community, student members of the Presidents’ Club seek to establish and sustain a tradition of leadership by example in order to enhance the collegiate experience for both current undergraduates and future generations of students.
The field hockey team was the first Colgate group to pledge their support, surprising Presidents’ Club Chair Amy Everett DiSibio ’86, P’18 during Parents’ Weekend in late October with the announcement that all of the team’s members had made Presidents’ Club level gifts. In early November, Colgate trustee and co-founder of the Thought Into Action Program Andy Greenfield ’74, P’12 visited Colgate and met with the student leaders of the Presidents’ Club. Greenfield discussed the importance of philanthropy and commitment to Colgate and provided invaluable advice about how best to market the club to encourage student participation.
On Colgate Day in November, the student leaders of the Presidents’ Club collaborated with Konosioni and the Giving Circle to host A Spark Starts a Fire, a free s’mores roasting event in the Coop to celebrate tradition and emphasize the importance of giving to Colgate. Amy DiSibio attended the event and met with several varsity athletic teams later that afternoon. Following the meetings, the women’s basketball team also pledged 100-percent participation to the club.
“We are hopeful that the Presidents’ Club can help our students establish a pattern of giving to Colgate right now while they are on campus, so that they can feel the impact they are making for themselves and for those around them,” DiSibio said. “As our students become alumni and grow to appreciate the value of their Colgate education even more, we hope they will stay engaged with Colgate not only as donors, but as supporters and proud graduates. I am hoping our student-athletes will lead by example and that their commitment will encourage other clubs and organizations on campus to do the same.”
To date, nearly 200 students have become Presidents’ Club members this year.