It is a long-standing tradition in many schools for the departing senior class to bestow a gift upon the school for the students to commemorate their time there and leave a legacy. Oftentimes, seniors raise the money for their senior gifts via a year-long fundraising project. When selecting a senior gift, though, the most expensive or elaborate offering is not necessarily the best. Seniors should take into consideration their school’s needs when deciding what to present.

Scholarships for Freshmen

Scholarships are ideal senior class gifts for students who attend a private school or other educational institution that requires tuition. The senior class may choose to leave a scholarship endowment for a single student’s entire year of tuition, or the class might divide up its funds into multiple scholarships. Scholarship endowments are an ideal way for the senior class to make a significant impact for an upcoming student who might not have been able to afford the same education otherwise. For instance, the St. Thomas Aquinas High School class of 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida decided to develop the Living Legacy Fund to help pay the tuition costs for an incoming freshman every year. The fund has become a legacy to which classes and alumni can choose to donate to every year.

Extracurricular Activities

Seniors might also present gifts that improve extracurricular activities. School clubs and sporting teams are often in need of new equipment. Senior classes can choose one or more organizations that are in need of additional funds and provide the organizations with the funds for improvements and allow them to use the money as they see fit, or they can purchase the needed improvements themselves. For instance, Monterey High School senior gifts in Lubbock, Texas, have included the purchase of scoreboards as well as booths for football, basketball and assembly ticket sales.

Academic Improvements

Academic equipment, such as computers, textbooks and lab equipment needs to be updated periodically. Senior classes can donate funds to their schools to be used specifically for this purpose. For example, Oakland Mills High School’s senior class in Columbia, Maryland, donated $1,000 toward new computers for the school’s special education program for students with disabilities, the academic life skills program.

Beautification Contributions

Everlasting gifts that senior classes can present to their schools are gifts that enhance the beauty of the school. Examples of beautification gifts include planting a tree, painting a sidewalk, purchasing benches or buying plaques, statues or other monuments for the school. For instance, the 2012 graduating class of Central Dauphin East in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, left its mark by purchasing a plaque inscribed with the school’s alma mater to complement the panther statue that the class of 2011 purchased for the school the year before.

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