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Arts on view
Join the Friends of the Presidents!
Established in 1966, the Friends of the Presidents Society recognizes the colleges most generous donors, who set an example of leadership in annual giving (the gift level for membership is $2,000, with a sliding scale of lower levels for the most recent classes). Meet an alumna who led her class in creating two memorial scholarships.
When fund chair Jill Richardson 92 and fellow class volunteers began laying plans for their tenth reunion, they wanted to honor two of their number whose lives had been cut short. Sara Bennett died suddenly from a brain aneurysm at the age of twenty-four, just as she was embarking on a promising career in journalism, and Christopher Riggio was working as a publicist for a nonprofit medical research institute when he lost his battle with lymphoma at twenty-seven.
Richardson and a team of class agents encouraged classmates to make reunion gifts that would establish annual-fund scholarships in memory of Bennett and Riggio. To realize this goal, Richardson and co. held small pre-reunion dinners over the past year in Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York City, where they challenged classmates to step up to the Friends of the Presidents level with gifts of $1,000 (the FOP scale for young alumni is $100 for each year since their graduation). Their diligence paid off: By the time Reunion festivities formally wrapped up on June 2, Class of 92 FOP membership had risen from a core group of four to twenty-two.
Richardson says she was truly amazed at the level of support so many of our classmates offered. In the course of creating memorial scholarships for these two special classmates, the Class of 92 set new college records, in both participation rate and total dollars raised, for a tenth-reunion class.
This was an astounding accomplishment, says Richardson, who credits the great leadership of class president Amy OLeary and the teamwork of thirty fantastic class agentswith a special thanks to Jake Jacobyfor achieving an ambitious goal and honoring two lost classmates. MM