Senior Giving Campaign Kicks Off for 2023 Grads


Image via SJF 2023 Senior Gift Campaign

It’s that time of year when graduation draws closer, and some Cardinals get ready to transition from student to alum – this means it’s also time for the annual senior-giving campaign. Gabby Papale is the Executive Intern for Institutional Advancement and is a senior herself, and she’s played a major role in planning for and campaigning senior giving. 

According to Papale, this is a campaign that every senior class does and it is not only St. John Fisher University that takes part in the tradition. This specific fundraiser is only open to seniors, and they choose to donate either to the annual fund or to more specific funds (like the Wegmans School of Nursing or Salerno School of Business) based on where they want to give back. The school hopes senior giving creates a connection between students and the school. 

Any amount is accepted and appreciated by the project, but when students donate $25  they gain access to a set of perks. These include free drink tokens for events on campus, access to special events, a Fisher wine glass, and a set of teal cords for graduation meant to signify philanthropy. Papale also teased a senior giving “Battle of the Beaks” to see if Fisher or Nazareth seniors could raise more money for their alma maters.

Senior Benjamin Shumski said donating “just felt like the right thing to do.” He continued, saying “The Fisher community has done so much for me since arriving here so I decided to donate.” Shumski transferred to St. John Fisher and was able to form a strong bond with the Media and Communication department, even taking part in last year’s student-made film showing at the Little TheatreThis May, Shumski will graduate with a Bachelors Degree in Media and Communication, and a Minor in Film and Television Studies. He elected to donate to the Fisher Student Fund, where student organizations pull their money from. 

Nick Merwin, a December ‘22 grad and now accountant, says that he feels connected to the school in certain instances “and others not much just because of not being on campus anymore.” Merwin said that “hearing about Fisher and reading about campus news from various social media outlets helps me feel more connected.” He continued to say that although he likely won’t donate financially, “the firm I’ve been hired at post-graduation has signed up for on-campus career fair appearances and other networking events that I’d love to go to just show the students what’s possible post-graduation, and maybe even give some advice that I wish I had gotten.”

Papale said in her interview that the university and giving campaign encourages students to be involved post-graduation in whatever way they feel most comfortable – whether that be via networking, financial assistance, mentoring younger generations of Fisher students, or else wise.

Students can donate up until May 11 at this link ​​and can find them on Instagram at @sjfseniorgiving. At the time of publication, the senior giving fund had raised $2,341 from 109 different student donors.