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Graduate Gift Program gives back

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Graduation is right around the corner and for most students, this means moving forward. The next step for them is turning a degree into a lasting and enjoyable career. For some, this is the perfect time to look back and wonder what their impact will be on the campus that has groomed them for the future.

The Graduate Gift Program provides the opportunity to do just that—leave a mark. In 2015, the bronze Mustang statue was that mark. In 2016, the SMSU Beautification Fund was strengthened by donations.

Run through the SMSU Foundation, the Graduate Gift Program was introduced in 2015 by Erik Vogel, director of Annual Giving. Since then, the Graduate Gift Program has coordinated the cooperation of graduating students looking to make an improvement on campus.

The project is organized entirely by students, including athletes as well as academics often referred by coaches and professors, and focuses on unifying students in a common goal. By the end of the project, students have gained experience in philanthropy. But more importantly, students will have provided something new for future graduates.

“What sets the GGP apart from other campus improvement initiatives is that it is completely student-run,” said GGP member Michaela Nelson. “Graduating seniors take the lead in an effort to give back to SMSU.”

This year’s group working on the newest project includes Michaela Nelson, Sarah Parker, Josie Hinze, Alex Weis, Samantha Pardy, Dana Wagner, Brittany Majusiak, Jeff Pryor, and Krishna Ghimire. Their project may be better than a statue. Students returning in 2017 will see the installation of a charging station in the Student Center.

“Gifts made by these graduating seniors make a real impact on campus!” Nelson said.

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Graduate Gift Program gives back