Building a legacy for future Lab students
Almost 30 classes at Lab have alumni scholarships, endowed funds that support students in perpetuity. Since 2007, parents of graduating seniors have seeded these scholarships with gifts made in honor of their children’s graduation, with the idea that the future alumni from each class can continue to give back to the class fund over the course of their lives.
In 2020, for the first time ever, members of the senior class seeded their own fund, with over 90% of students contributing a total of $1,595 in support of financial aid, which is a transformative force in the lives of individual students and the Lab community.
The student giving initiative, which was positioned as
a matching campaign to also support the seniors’ planned Prom, was led by Emily Zhang, ’20. Using Lab’s learning management system and social media, Zhang and other members of the Prom Committee worked to inspire fellow students to give. Zhang’s messages were heavily focused on generosity and opening doors to future students as with this note to fellow classmates: “It’s my hope that this initiative will encourage you to think about your own impact, and the strides we can make when we come together.”
Despite the unprecedented changes to society and education unleashed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Lab parents of the Class of 2020 followed their students in giving generously to the fund as well in the spring of 2020. With the engagement of the parent community and a generous $75,000 anonymous match, the Class of 2020 Scholarship Fund received $212,000 in gifts and pledges.
In her thank you note to fellow students following the student-led portion of the drive, Zhang philosophically observed, “When I began seeing people spreading the word and encouraging others to take part in this cause, I felt incredibly moved. It’s hard to inspire change–– it’s harder to change yourself. If you are someone who had not initially wanted to donate but later did, I do hope that it was because someone or something had inspired you.”
- Class Scholarship Fund