September 22, 2018 | ° F

The class of 2018 is 1,300 donors short of being the most charitable class in Rutgers history


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Marques Jules is the senior class gift campaign coordinator for the Rutgers Class of 2018 Scarlet Senior Campaign. As a graduating senior, he works to inform his fellow classmates of the importance that a donation can have on the student experience.


As seniors begin preparing for graduation and wondering what legacy they will leave behind, the Rutgers Class of 2018 Scarlet Senior Campaign urges them to give back to the areas of Rutgers that impacted them most. 

The Scarlet Senior Campaign encourages graduating seniors to give a donation to a Rutgers area of their choosing that helped impact and shape their college experience, according to its website

Last year, the 2017 senior class raised more than $14,000 from 790 donors, making it the most successful fundraising class to date. This year’s campaign has hopes of surpassing that achievement.  

“As a Scarlet Senior myself, I’m personally committed to helping the class of 2018 make history," said Marques Jules, the senior class gift campaign coordinator and a School of Arts and Sciences student. "I work with foundation staff to get the word out to seniors via email, social media and other ways. I have a real understanding of the huge impact that philanthropy has on the student experience. I want my classmates to know that too — and to take action.” 

The goal of the campaign this year is to enlist 1,600 senior donors, which would make the class of 2018 the most philanthropic senior class in Rutgers history, Jules said. Currently, the campaign has reached more than 300 donors, raising more than $8,000. 

This year marks a special occasion for the annual senior-class gift since the campaign is not being restricted by a certain timeframe as it has been in the past, said Nevin Kessler, president of the Rutgers University Foundation which is involved in helping the Scarlet Senior campaign. 

Seniors are able to donate at any time throughout their final year — up until midnight on May 14 — if they visit the campaign website, he said.

Any senior who donates to the campaign will receive an exclusive invitation to the Scarlet Senior Donor Reception which will take place in May, Kessler said. Other incentives to donate include any senior who donates upward of $25 or commits to a monthly gift of $5, will be recognized with a philanthropy cord on graduation day to showcase their scarlet pride.  

Since seniors are able to donate to whichever area of Rutgers they choose, donations have been made to a number of organizations, ranging from the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy Academic Excellence Fund to the Zimmerli Art Museum, according to the website

“Currently, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Douglass Residential College and student organizations have gotten the most donations from Scarlet Seniors. Students can give to whatever area of the University is meaningful to them,” Kessler said. 

The home stretch of the campaign kicked off yesterday, Rutgers Giving Day, he said. For every 100 senior donors on Giving Day, an additional $200 will be awarded to a randomly selected fund supported by one of those 100 seniors.  

“I intend on donating to the Scarlet Senior Campaign because I want to give back to the place I have called my home for the last four years," said Allison Kantor, a School of Arts and Sciences senior. "Working at the visitor center has given me memories I will always cherish, and lifelong friends and so I think the senior class gift is a great way for every senior to show their support for what they will miss most here at Rutgers.” 

Donors also have the option to choose to become a campaign advocate. That allows advocates to share the campaign social media and promote its mission. Currently, 32 seniors have chosen to become advocates for the campaign, according to the website.    

Jules said the campaign came together in hopes of making a real impact at the University, and paving the way to a brighter future for all potential Scarlet Knights.  

“As students, we all have personal experiences that have made our time at Rutgers special," Jules said. "I believe it’s especially important for seniors to reflect on our Rutgers experiences and do our part to ensure that the next generation of students can have the same opportunities we did ... We can come together as a class through the Scarlet Seniors Campaign to make a difference for the students following in our footsteps.”


Marissa Scognamiglio

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