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Senior Class Gift

New Type of Philanthropy

More Than 400 Student Donors Helped Make Much-Needed Printers the 2016 Senior Class Gift

By Andres Cardenas

A total of 422 students donated $12,600 to make the 2016 senior class gift a reality.
A total of 422 students donated $12,600 to make the 2016 senior class gift a reality.

The college term paper is as old as college itself. Like institutions of higher learning, it has evolved: A document written by hand gave way to the typewriter and now is printed from a computer.

Technology allows students to give their professor a polished product with the modern conveniences of spellcheck and automatic footnotes. That is, of course, unless their home printer is out of ink, there’s no paper or it’s broken.

Fortunately, Cal Poly Pomona has printers for students to use. Unfortunately, the University Library, where most of the printers are located, is usually packed with students trying to print out their papers as well.

The 2016 Senior Class Gift Committee decided to help by raising money for additional printers placed throughout campus. The first has been installed in a study room on the first floor of the Bronco Student Center. The next printer was stationed in the College of Business Administration complex.

“I heard responses about the gift almost immediately,” says Marcela Moreno (’16, liberal studies), past president of the Student Philanthropy Club. “A very exciting moment for me was to see the first printer get installed in the BSC. One student told me that it will now be easier for him to print papers than having to go all the way to the library or computer lab.”

A total of 422 students donated more than $12,600, mainly through the efforts of the Senior Class Gift Committee and the Cal Poly Pomona Annual Fund.

Tiffany Richardson (’16, finance, real estate and law) was one of the seniors who donated because she wanted to help students who will walk the same path as she did.

“I am glad I donated,” Richardson says. “I know too many people who drop out for all different reasons. If this could help in any way to alleviate some stress or continue their education, then I only wish that I could give more.”

Kathy Byrum (’16, communication), assistant to the dean in the College of Business Administration, graduated this spring with her son, Jeremy (’16, English). Kathy says she was motivated to give back to a school that had given her so much.

Carly Owens (‘16, communication) presents the senior class gift at the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences Commencement in June.
Carly Owens (‘16, communication) presents the senior class gift at the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences Commencement in June.

“I had been working on my undergraduate degree for a long time and am extremely delighted about what I’ve accomplished,” she says. “Being a single mom and a full-time employee, it was difficult taking one class per quarter, but it was worth the wait. I’m proud to now be an alumna. That’s why I donated.”

Moreno says the idea for purchasing printers came from the graduating seniors. The senior gift committee, a voluntary group, had considered other ideas. One was to install bike rental stations on campus.

“The 2016 Senior Class Gift Committee chose to add more printers to campus because they found that many students fell between the cracks in terms of what has been available, convenient and accessible,” says Kayhan Ahmadi, director of Leadership Annual Giving. “We used a combination of student feedback through social media and IT’s expertise to identify new printer locations that will benefit the greatest number of students.”

The printers operate like any other student-use printer on campus, according to Ahmadi. “Students simply load up their Bronco ID cards with Bronco Bucks or add cash to their account, and then use that to pay for their print jobs. So it’s the same system, but it just got a bit bigger and more convenient.”

 Moreno says she’s proud that many graduating seniors rallied for a philanthropic cause.

“It was a heartwarming experience to see that the Class of 2016 was able to give back to Cal Poly Pomona,” Moreno says. “I also got to meet a lot of my fellow peers in the process. I got to see the beauty that is the Bronco family. This is a gift that will be helpful to many future Broncos to come. I look forward to coming back as an alumna and seeing where the other printers have been installed and how the gift has come to life.”

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