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Silveus hopes to bring new tradition through senior gift

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It has been a tradition on Bethel’s campus for the seniors to give a gift to the school before they graduate. In the past, seniors have given the bridge by Shiloh, the clock in the center of campus and picnic tables outside of the Acorn, among other gifts. The class of 2012 is planning on giving a small outdoor amphitheater that will be built on the south side of the Dining Commons. “Traditionally here at Bethel, the senior gift has been handled by seniors in Student Council,” said senior Neil Silveus. “This project is focused on the participation of every graduate this year (traditional, non-traditional and graduate students). This project is also unique because we are partnering with the class of 1962 to raise funds. This is the 50-year anniversary class and will be participating in commencement with traditional students.” Silveus is hoping this will enable more class partnerships in the future (i.e. the class of 2013 with 1963, 2014 with 1964, etc.). By doing this, it will connect alumni with current students. “I see this as a way to begin to shape Bethel tradition in a very sustainable way far into the future,” he said. “We are getting the ball rolling this year, but that means it will only be easier for the class of 2013 next year. As this becomes a strong tradition, it will become something that freshmen leaders can start planning.” Silveus is organizing this effort as part of his internship with Institutional Advancement. For years administration has wanted an outdoor amphitheater, and now the graduates of 2012 will be the ones to provide it. “[Residential] seniors have the opportunity to transfer dorm deposit funds into the class gift fund,” he said. “For all others, we have made it possible to donate online or by check. Appeals are currently being sent out via letter.” Silveus is excited about how this partnership will affect seniors, the campus and the Bethel community. “We as seniors will only benefit from giving,” said Silveus. “Alumni giving factors into how U.S. News and World Report ranks colleges. Bethel's scores in this category have not been to the level they could be. As this score goes up, so does the value of a Bethel diploma. So it is incredibly important to give as alumni. Not to mention developing a generous spirit and good old fashion school pride.”
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