MBA Class of 2014 Sets New Records with Graduating Class Gift Campaign, 'Build Your Legacy'

This year’s Graduating Class Gift Campaign, "Build Your Legacy," set new records for participation and achieved new heights for a single class gift to the Tepper School of Business.

Last October, the Full-Time MBA students of the Class of 2014 began raising funds aimed at naming a space in the new Tepper School building, which currently is beginning the design phase. To do so, the students established the goal to raise $30,000 by June 30, 2014. The students surpassed this goal, raising nearly $34,000 — the highest dollar amount in the history of the Class Gift program.

With 213 donors, the class of 2014 realized a 99.5 percent participation rate, another new record for a class gift campaign. The W.L. Mellon Society, which recognizes student and one-year alumni donations of $500 or more, also increased by fifteen members as a result of the campaign. Affiliation in this society includes recognition on the donor boards displayed in the GSIA lobby, invitations to special events, communication with Dean Dammon, and more.

This year’s class gift is directly earmarked toward the new David A. Tepper Quadrangle and the 295,000 square-foot building that will be the new home for Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business.

The Class of 2014 recognized that a high participation rate by their class sends a positive message to the alumni community, and can inspire other individuals and organizations to invest in the school. The high giving rate also is reflective of the students’ appreciation of their educational experience along with a commitment in helping the Tepper School of Business continue to pioneer management education for future generations of business students.

Stephen Morse, Class Gift Committee Co-Chair, praised his classmates for their hard work.

"Working on the class gift was an awesome experience. The committee definitely put in a ton of time and effort to achieve what we did, but when it really comes down to it, we had 213 people contributing to this success," Morse said.

"I was so happy to see how willing everyone was to pull together to get our participation so high. Whether it was climbing on to a roof to retrieve a child's soccer ball, or utilizing the partner network to track down a classmate who had already finished school and was on another continent, everyone pulled together. I think that everyone realized that this was about us coming together as a class and doing something for the school that really showed how much we believe in the Tepper School. I think that our class is stronger because of it and I hope that it keeps us together through the years leading up to our five year reunion and beyond."

Along with the individual gifts from students, a number of campaign-challenges helped the class to exceed their goal. One anonymous alumni donor pledged $10,000 if the class achieved 75 percent participation by March 14, and 90 percent participation by graduation. The class exceeded both of these goals before April 2014.

The campaign also was joined by several student-challenge donors. One student pledged $5 per donation over a four-week period of time, and another student matched each donation received dollar for dollar (up to $3,000 total) in a 24-hour period. When only four students had yet to donate to the campaign, an anonymous student donor pledged $1,000 for each student who made a gift and another $1,000 if the class reached 100 percent participation. In total, these generous campaign challenges resulted an additional $13,750 towards the campaign.

Over the next five years, the Class of 2014 will continue to donate funds and work towards an overall goal of $200,000 in gifts. In 2019, the class’s five-year reunion year, the final amount raised will be calculated and a formal presentation will commence with the naming of a space in the new Tepper School building.

By establishing new records and exceeding their campaign goal, the Class of 2014 has set a remarkable example for future classes to follow, and the legacy that they have built will serve as an inspiration for years to come.