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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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2015, 2016 class gifts begin to take shape

Class gifts provide an avenue for Texas A&M students to give back to the university and the Classes of 2015 and 2016 are working to continue the tradition.
Each year, Class Councils works to organize gifts. Matt Hidalgo, junior class president and member of the class gift committee, said there are three main phases to selecting a class gift, starting with getting ideas from students and Texas A&M faculty. The Class of 2016 is currently in that phase.
“Recently, I created a Twitter account, @TAMU2016, to make it easy for our class to tweet their ideas for the gift,” Hidalgo said. “We have gotten some great feedback and hope to continue to get more.”
Hidalgo said the class gift committee also plays an important role in this stage of the process as well, talking to student organizations and Texas A&M administration.
The second phase involves narrowing down the gift ideas to a few possibilities, determining how to implement them and eventually facilitating a vote on the options.
Paul Smith, senior class president, said research is an important part of narrowing down the potential gifts.
“We submitted a survey for class gift options and we were able to go out and do some research on the possibility of those gifts,” Smith said.
Smith said the Class of 2015 eventually reduced its options to five choices that were chosen for the ballot. These included covering the cost for the cannon at Kyle Field, a donation towards the Ron Sasse Housing Scholarship, an endowed Century Club donation for the Association of Former Students, an improvement to the Student Counseling Services waiting area and assistance toward renovating the Rudder Theater Complex.
Alyssa Bailey, class gift chair for the Class of 2015, said the 2015 council is finalizing the gift and continuing to raise money.
“We haven’t had Elephant Walk or Ring Dance, which both bring in quite a bit of revenue for the gift,” Bailey said.
After the 2015 gift is revealed at Elephant Walk, the third phase of the process, implementation, will occur as soon as possible.
“If the class gift is not implemented during one’s stay at Texas A&M, then it is the class agents’ job to do so,” Hidalgo said. “The class agents are our elected class members who are charged to represent our class following graduation.”
Since the first class gift, the flagpole in Academic Plaza in 1912, there have been many different kinds of gifts over the years, including endowments, scholarships, physical additions to campus and eventually the gift from the Class of 2014 — an Aggie Ring Scholarship.
“You can find a class gift in almost every aspect of campus, up front and behind the scenes,” Bailey said. “Many of our most precious landmarks on campus are class gifts that were voted on by each respective class.”
Hidalgo said the class gift represents for many students a way to give back to the school and to contribute to the history of Texas A&M.
“Each student wants to leave his or her mark on the university, and this is a way to accomplish this,” Hidalgo said. “Texas A&M has given us so much during our time thus far, so giving back is the least we could do.”

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