Seniors hold a check.Before receiving their diplomas on May 14, the Class of 2012 gave back – in a big way. 

The graduating class raised $10,386.51 for Candler through their senior class gift campaign. The class had a participation rate of 73 percent, which is the highest participation rate of any class in recent history.

“I believe in Candler and what it has to offer to future students, so deciding to give and encouraging my classmates to give was easy,” said Samantha Lewis, who served on the campaign committee.

“Giving back was important to me because someone invested in me. The Sherman Scholarship made it possible for me to attend Candler, and it has been the chance of a lifetime,” she explained. “Helping others have the same advantages I’ve had is such a gift.” 

The majority of funds raised will be directed toward the Theology School Fund for Excellence, which commits every dollar received to student scholarships. However, for the first time, other funds will benefit from this year’s senior class gift as well, because seniors could choose how to allocate their individual gifts within the larger campaign, according to Lauren McCrary, assistant director of development.

“This campaign showed students the wide variety of giving programs that Candler offers,” said McCrary, who offered oversight and guidance to the campaign committee. “If students had strong passions about particular programs they’d participated in while at Candler, we found a way to direct their gift to that program.” 

To raise funds, the senior class held events ranging from a silent auction to a basketball game between faculty and graduating students. The campaign committee was co-chaired by MDiv student Tim Moore and MTS student Jung Won An. 

“The campaign was so successful because we have a great class,” said Lewis. “I know everyone says that, but for us, it’s really true. We have a bunch of people who truly care about Candler.”

The full list of donors is available here: