As a member of Lawrence University’s community of young alumni, I have watched in dismay as issues we struggled with while we were at Lawrence have recently been brought to light in a painful way. And I’ve been encouraged by watching current students take a stand. Many young alumni have responded to student concerns through discussions on social media because we want students to know that we hear them. But as members of the Viking Gift Committee (VGC), we hoped to find a way to address their concerns and show our support in a more meaningful way. That’s why VGC, a group of alumni from the most recent decade, decided to raise money for a cause whose importance we agreed upon unanimously.
As we discussed where to best direct our fundraising, we all mentioned the Diversity Center. We remembered it as a safe space for all students, with a caring staff who directed thoughtful and educational programming on campus. But, regardless of graduation year, we all remembered wishing the Diversity Center had more funding to create a bigger presence on campus. That’s why we chose to spend the last two weeks enlisting young alumni to raise money for the Diversity Center. We hope our gifts will help make sure that the Diversity Center remains a supportive force for current Lawrence students.
It is our hope that our efforts are seen not only as a show of support for current students and their fight to make Lawrence a more inclusive, accepting campus, but also an indication of the kind of campus environment we value.
Although many of us are not yet in a position to make large financial contributions to causes other than our own student loans and living expenses, we hope that our donations are seen for what they are. In many cases, they represent a significant portion of our budgets, allocated toward a cause about which we still very deeply care—ensuring that every student at our alma mater be given the opportunity to truly enjoy their Lawrence Experience, regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation.