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The Full-Time class gift steering committee and section leaders present their Class of 2015 gift to Dean Sally Blount '92 and Associate Dean of MBA Programs Betsy Ziegler during the 2015 Kellogg Leadership Awards Ceremony.

2015 class gift

Committed to Kellogg

Class of 2015 gift sees huge uptick in recurring giving

By Dustin J. Seibert

6/23/2015 - The Full-Time MBA class of 2015 raised more than $270,000 (at time of publication) for its year-end gift, with more than 60 percent of donors signing up for a recurring gift.

“The class of 2015’s overwhelming support toward recurring gifts speaks volumes,” said Katie Taylor, director of annual giving. Not only do class members share an enthusiasm and appreciation for their Kellogg experience, she said, but they also believe in establishing a shared long-term commitment to giving back, ensuring a meaningful connection to Kellogg for years to come.

Nearly nine of every 10 students contributed this year, said Taylor, adding that the 60 percent sign-up for recurring giving was “unprecedented.”

Taylor thanked student leaders who encouraged recurring giving and enrollment in the Kellogg Leadership Circle this year. “They wanted to create a culture of philanthropy and a tradition of giving,” she said. The steering committee was led by the impressive efforts of Chris Andersen ’15, Lexie Smith ’15, Alex Daubert ’15, Matt Brocks ’15 and Erica Dzierzak (JV).

Generous alumni and first-years join the class of ’15 giving

This year’s campaign is also noteworthy for an anonymous alumni couple who sponsored two challenges on behalf of Professors Gad Allon and David Besanko: They donated $5,000 to recognize the section with the highest percentage of students who contributed recurring gifts, and $5,000 to recognize the section with the top combination of recurring gifts and participation.

The One-Year Program donor challenge was met by George Graffy ’89, president of Smart Circle, LLC, a Dallas-based company that connects clients with a customizable sales network. Graffy promised to match all One-Year gifts up to $10,000 if 60 percent was donated in time for the program’s 50th anniversary celebration, held June 4 at the Field Museum in downtown Chicago.

The campaign also marked the first year of the Friends of the Class of 2015 initiative, which broadened the pool of donors via mentees of the class of 2016 students. At least 60 first-year students contributed, said Jonathan Feldman ’16, who spearheaded the initiative.

“It’s a way for first-years to give that final, public thank-you to the Kellogg folks that helped us with a large part of our shared experience,” Feldman said.

To give to Kellogg, please visit Ways to Give.