By Will DeWitt
Senior classes have been giving back to Baylor in the form of senior class gifts for years. This year, students will have the chance to eat at some of their favorite restaurants and contribute to a fully-fledged scholarship for students.
“This is a longstanding tradition. For a long time it used to be things like park benches and trees and little memorial gardens. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that they came up with the idea of pouring money into an endowed scholarship which grows each year,” said Shelby, N.C., senior and senior class president Mary Katherine Leslie.
This year, the scholarship is being funded through the Senior Class Café initiative. Several restaurants — including Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A and McAlister’s Deli — have agreed to donate a portion of each sale toward the scholarship fund if the student shows the fundraising flier or mentions the initiative at checkout.
“I think it’s great because it’s an easy way. I mean, everyone’s going to eat at some point so it might as well have some of the proceeds go to something beneficial to a Baylor student,” San Angelo senior Kyle Kirkland said.
Students have already had the opportunity to contribute through 3 Spoons and Chipotle, which donated 50 percent of each sale to the scholarship initiative, but students can still go to Chick-Fil-A on Monday or McAlister’s Deli on April 26.
The scholarship has been used to help seniors the past few years, helping pay for two students’ complete tuition this year.
“For every $25,000 that is raised, then the endowed scholarship can provide financial assistance,” Leslie said.
The Senior Class Café is not the only time students can contribute toward this gift. As part of President Ken Starr’s initiatives, the class of 2011’s endowed scholarship will be something this senior class can donate to as alumni.
“Because it is the class of 2011 we can continue, as we become alumni, to pour back into that so the class of 2011 can help support someone in the class of 2027,” Leslie said.
Because this gift is something that will help many classes in the years to come, senior class officers want everybody to participate in the Café initiative.
“We want to raise money for something that has impact. Benches and parks are nice, but Baylor spends enough money on the campus. Its time we support students and what they need, and that’s financial stability,” said Houston senior and senior class vice president Rachael Gilbert.