Penn State’s Class of 2013 will leave behind a proposed “We Are” sculpture as its class gift, as announced Wednesday by the Senior Class Gift Committee of 2013.
The sculpture beat out a proposed Rec Hall beautification project and a donation to the Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children.
The gift was announced Wednesday by the senior class gift committee and accepted on behalf of Penn State by President Rodney Erickson .
“A ‘We Are’ sculpture enhanced with the words of the Penn State alma mater combines two of Penn State’s most cherished expression of who we are,” Erickson said. He said he is certain it will become a must-see landmark on campus.
Senior class gift giving has been a long-standing tradition at Penn State dating back 120 years, Erickson said.
Out of the 8,955 seniors at University Park, Geoff Hallett , adviser of the committee from the Office of Annual Giving, said 1,700 votes were received last week.
Now that the gift is selected, the focus is on funding. The funding mostly comes from the extra money from the general deposit the university holds during a student’s time at Penn State. Hallet said students can give out-of-pocket donations, as well, but a majority of the money will come from the university deposit.
The location for the sculpture is still to be decided and will be discussed by the committee and the Office of Physical Plant..
Morgan Delaware (senior-broadcast journalism), overall chairwoman of the committee, presented the gift Wednesday morning in the HUB-Robeson Center.
“I’m very excited for it. It’s a big reminder for who we are as Penn Staters as a community, not only to us but also to everyone […] especially to have the alma mater in front isn’t just saying ‘We Are,’ it explains who we are,” Delaware said.
Student Foha Rafiq (senior-petroleum and natural gas engineering) voted for the sculpture.
“I thought it was cool. It’s a remarkable way of showing dedication to Penn State and giving back,” said Rafiq.
This year, seniors can make an even bigger impact by collecting pledges.
According to Delaware, if the students of the Class of 2013 get at least 3,330 pledges by April of next year, Ed and Helen Hintz will endow a scholarship in the class’ name for students who need the most financial support.
One senior who didn’t vote for the sculpture was Karanda Erdman (senior-chemistry). She said she voted for the donation to the Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children.
“I feel like what happened last year defined our class. It’s huge. And if we can give back this money to the kids, it can prevent things from happening in the future,” Erdman said.