A class gift is a student body’s way of not only leaving behind a campus legacy, but also of thanking the University and faculty for classroom and life lessons learned. At many schools class gifts are often tangible items such as furniture, artwork or lab equipment. For CNU’s Class of 2013, however, the goal was more lofty: a gift that better reflected their CNU experience and their embrace of leadership, scholarship and service.

To date the Class of 2013 and their families have raised more than $45,000 – the most in Christopher Newport history – to create a special Faculty Support Fund, which will recognize faculty members who show distinction in service and scholarship. “It is our hope that this gift will reward all the excellent faculty who already go above and beyond to impact the individual lives of students and the greater CNU community, while also motivating new faculty to join in our tradition of service,” says Kathryn Crouch, Class of 2013 Class Council President.

Crouch points to the transformative power CNU has had on her and her classmates over the last four years as inspiration as they worked to choose a worthy class gift, something less concrete than a sculpture or computer, but something that would recognize in others what the students were learning to find within themselves. “I think I speak for most of this year's graduating class when I say that our CNU experience has made an indelible mark on who we are,” Crouch says. “CNU's focus on community, respect for others and civic engagement has permanently changed the way we see the world and the way we see each other. CNU has taught us not only to be involved in the community but also to give our all to it.”

Crouch has worked with her fellow Class Council officers to raise money for the Faculty Support Fund, including events, merchandising and outreach among the study body. “We worked incredibly hard as a class to be able to raise enough money not only to break all previous fundraising records, but also to make sure we'd have the funds to leave behind something memorable,” she says.

By way of the Faculty Support Fund the Class of 2013 hopes in some measure to acknowledge the priceless lessons they have learned in and out of the classroom at CNU, and express their appreciation for the contributions and mentorship of CNU’s faculty. As Crouch says, the gift “will not only keep our presence here long after we're gone, but also guarantee a continued spirit of excellence in engagement, and continue to fuel the CNU spirit for years to come.”

Those interested can donate to the 2013 Senior Class Gift through June 30, 2013. Visit the Office of Advancement for more information on gift opportunities at Christopher Newport University.