By Maleesa Johnson
TCU and Baylor have taken their rivalry to a new level as they compete to see whose young alumni will donate the most money between Oct. 25 and Nov. 22.
Alumni who have graduated between 2003 and 2012 are encouraged to donate to their alma mater. The first university to have 10 percent of young alumni participate wins the competition. In Baylor’s case, 2,700 participants are needed.
Allan Marshall, director of Baylor’s foundation development, has been working to build relationships and stay in contact with recent graduates. He said donating to Baylor as a young alum is a way to show appreciation to the university.
“I really love Baylor, and I love giving back,” Marshall said. “This is a great opportunity to give back to Baylor not only because we’re doing well athletically, but we are doing well academically. Financially, Baylor is in a critical time in its history with the new stadium. There are just a lot of great things going on.”
Marshall also said school pride is at stake. Baylor has reached 11 percent of its goal, while TCU has reached 20 percent. Baylor still needs 2,394 alumni to participate.
“Young alums have every obligation to give back in a meaningful way,” Marshall said. “I think this is one way to do it. Of course we want to beat TCU too.”
Derek Stephens, director of the Baylor Young Grads’ Network, said it is not uncommon for current students and recent graduates to picture rich, elderly people when thinking of Baylor’s donors.
“It’s important to get young alumni accustomed to giving back to Baylor,” Stephens said. “A lot of times when you’re students or young alums, you don’t necessarily think that somebody long ago, or maybe not so long ago, made a sacrifice for you to enjoy the things that we have on campus, whether it be scholarships or facilities or any other amenities.”
Stephens said he encourages recent graduates to give whatever they can, even if it is just $5.
“The little-by-little gifts add up,” Stephens said.
On the secure online giving website, recent alumni can choose to fund the Baylor University Scholarship Fund, Student Life Excellence Fund, Student Missions Fund or type in the name of the fund they wish to support.
“We want students to give to area that they are passionate about,” said Davin Allen, the assistant director of annual giving.
Allen said she understands some recent graduates may not be in the best financial situation. However, the contest does not call for a specific amount of money per donation. According to the official rules of the contest, any amount given counts. The contest measures the number of alumni donating to their university rather than the amount of money donated. If an alumni couple makes a gift, it counts as two participants.