The Class of 2020 wanted to approach the tradition of the senior class gift in a different way. When considering their options, the students said they wanted to feel they were making a specific impact on Catholic University — and so they chose to raise funds for a Class of 2020 Impact Scholarship.

The first class gift of its kind, the Class of 2020 Impact Scholarship will be awarded to a first-year student in the Class of 2024 who might not otherwise be able to afford a Catholic University education.

The Class of 2020 inspired the University community

The goal was to raise $20,000 to fund the scholarship — but the seniors didn’t have to raise those funds alone. Groups such as the Alumni Association Board of Governors and the Young Alumni Council, as well as alumni, current parents, past parents, faculty, and staff members, were inspired by the students’ generosity and pitched in to help the class achieve its goal.

“This class gift is a concrete example that shows the power of the Class of 2020 and what people can do when they work together,” said Praise Carson, the student and young alumni giving and participation specialist. “These students knew not only how much a quality education costs, but also that no one can be successful alone. Everyone needs help to achieve their goals, and they wanted to make achieving the dream of attending this University a reality for someone else.”

Funding a scholarship and enabling a dream

By the end of the school year the Class of 2020 Impact Scholarship was fully funded, with more than $5,000 given directly by the students.

“I donated to the impact scholarship because I believe that every student deserves to continue their education. Catholic University is such a wonderful place, I jumped at the opportunity to give another student the experience I was able to have. We would not have been able to reach our goal without the help of the Board of Governors and Young Alumni Council, and I am very grateful for their participation and generosity.”

— Julia Tyrrell, B.A. 2020, Student Philanthropy Council Co-President 2019–2020

Although their individual gifts ranged from $5 to more than $500, most students donated between $20–$50, a tremendous increase over the $5-$10 student gift average of years past. What made the difference? Carson said it was offering the students a tangible goal to work toward that would leave a lasting impact on Catholic University and make the dream of a future Cardinal a reality.

Incoming student to receive scholarship

When the Class of 2024 begins its first year at Catholic University this fall, one of its members will be a recipient of the Class of 2020 Impact Scholarship.