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A class of firsts: Class of ’71 sets goal to raise first six-figure class gift

A class of firsts: Class of ’71 sets goal to raise first six-figure class gift

By Sarah Nunez ’11

One class. One goal. A hundred thousand blessings.

The Class of 1971 is living out their class tagline of “making a difference” through an ambitious goal to raise $100,000 by their 50th reunion in 2021. The class hopes the gift will make a difference by providing scholarships for future students.

The class considers themselves a “class of firsts.” There were the first to walk the steps of Walton Chapel, graduate with males, adopt the Crusader mascot, and sing the co-ed words to “Up With the Purple.” They are now working to become the first to raise a six-figure class gift.

“It is our hope that by getting this started at our 40-year reunion, by 2021 we will be able to present our school with a ‘golden’ $100,000 gift,” class president Cathy Burkett ’71 said.

The process of raising the money is not impossible, but it requires dedication and patience, she said. “We are working with Michael Ball, the senior director of development, to implement a process where we will be in contact with classmates on a regular basis over the next ten years. We will then present the gift at our 50-year class reunion.”

According to classmate Vickie McKay ’71, their focus is to inspire each class member to make a contribution. “We will encourage everyone to begin a monthly contribution of an amount with which they are comfortable,” McKay said.

“We just want to give back. We love our university and see the great work that is being done and the wonderful students attending today, and we want to make a difference in their lives, just as UMHB made a difference in ours.”
— Vickie McKay ’71

Acts 20:35 states, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The class may not receive a tangible gain in return, but they are certain their gift will touch many lives.
“I look forward to being able to financially help students to create just as many precious memories as I did,” Deborah Moore ’71 said.

McKay and her class acknowledge that had it not been for alumni before them, they may not have received a college education. “We just want to give back,” McKay said. “We love our university and see the great work that is being done and the wonderful students attending today, and we want to make a difference in their lives, just as UMHB made a difference in ours.”