A message to the Class of 2017
Every five years, our class has the opportunity to reconnect, reflect on and celebrate our time at Stanford. Some found our calling here, others found partners, and all of us made lifelong friends. We’ve signed on as co-chairs for our first Class of 2017 reunion campaign, and are asking you to join us.
The 5th Reunion Campaign focuses on two goals:
Creating fun and memorable opportunities for class connection.
Raising support to ensure current students have the same (or better) opportunities we had.
Throughout the year this page will be updated to reflect giving opportunities, events and highlights from the campaign. We hope you’ll join us in coming together to celebrate and make an impact!
Rose Fisher, Jackie Langelier, Parker Odrich, Thomas Oser II, Will Sternlicht, and Victoria Yeow
Your reunion campaign, done your way
Step 1: Choose one of two ways to give back
1. Donate now
Whether it’s $20 or $200, you can make an immediate impact by supporting Stanford students in ways that are meaningful to you. All gifts made through December 31, 2022 will count towards our campaign and help our class make a collective impact. See your choices and make your gift below.
2. Donate over time
Make a commitment on your terms by selecting the flexible payment plan that works best for you. Multi-year pledges (typically over 5 years) work to sustain Stanford’s promise of need-blind admissions, opening doors for deserving students. The total amount of your multi-year pledge (including any payments made after 2022) will be counted towards our 5th reunion campaign.
Step 2: Choose where to send your gift
This is your chance to support the parts of Stanford you are most passionate about.
So much of our student experience was supported by alumni before us, and now it’s our chance to pay it forward. When you give through The Stanford Fund, you can choose to support an area of campus that was important to your experience, or one that you’re passionate about.
Support a more equitable future in Stanford education.
Promote justice, belonging, and equity on campus with a gift toward the Centers for Equity, Community, and Leadership.
Support community centers, student groups, and campus-wide events that make the Stanford experience unique.
Support all undergraduate majors and create an exceptional academic experience.
Support increased appointment capacity at CAPS.
All of the above!
Support all these important initiatives with one gift through The Stanford Fund.
Your gift will be doubled!
During our 5th reunion, your gift goes even further. Thanks to a generous alum, any gift made through The Stanford Fund will be matched 1:1, up to $1,000, until December 31, 2022. That means double the support for financial aid, mental health services, and more.
Still wondering how your gift can make a difference?
When you give through The Stanford Fund, you support programs and initiatives that make the Stanford experience exceptional for all students.
“Stanford Financial Aid has provided me the opportunity to attend this institution, and for that I am so grateful. Through Stanford, I was able to connect with an amazing group of women of color in my year. After connecting, we decided to begin a nonprofit organization together focused on combatting racism through education reform. Our efforts have been deeply supported by the university and I know that this experience would not have come to be without being a Stanford student.”
-Jasmine Nguyen, ’23
“I never thought Stanford was in the cards for someone from a socioeconomic background like mine. However, thanks to the Stanford Fund, I attend Stanford tuition-free, completed a summer program in Mexico, and studied abroad in Japan for over a year. These experiences deeply enriched my time at Stanford, and the lessons and memories I gained from these years will stay with me always.”
-Cristina Ammon, ’21
“Through Stanford's generous programs like financial aid and the Leland Scholar's Program I have not had to worry about money. With that level of foundational support, I was able to do more. I worked interesting side jobs which furthered my career prospects in the non-profit and technology spaces, and I was even able to begin investing in stock and currency markets. I do not think that a price can be placed on the mental security that comes with financial security. The ripple effects are almost incalculable.”
-Anonymous Leland Scholar
Philanthropy, or as you’ll often hear us say, giving, literally means goodwill to other humans. In practice, it refers to providing support for organizations, causes, or initiatives that are important to you.
For example, a gift to Stanford allows you to give back to a community that has helped you become who you are today and ensures the same or better opportunities are accessible to other students. Your philanthropy also includes your support for organizations that align with your passions, such as an animal shelter or relief aid during an emergency like the California wildfires.
All that to say, every one of us can be a philanthropist through our gifts of our time, talents, or financial resources.
Opportunities to support students can be driven by different things, whether it’s the priorities determined by university leaders (i.e. The Stanford Fund), or your own passions (i.e. funds for specific programs or departments).
You can explore and choose the ways to give back that are meaningful to you. Whatever you choose, you will help ensure every undergraduate student has the best possible Stanford experience.
Stanford’s endowment covers only about 22 percent of the university’s budget annually and is meant to support Stanford in perpetuity. The endowment provides a steady stream of income, but only if spending is held to about 5.5 percent each year. So, the university must fund more than three-quarters of its operating expenses, including financial aid, student and academic organization support, and other areas integral to the undergraduate experience, every year from other sources, including through donor support.
Additionally, nearly 80 percent of the Stanford endowment is restricted or designated for specific uses. The endowment is actually made up of more than 8,000 different funds. Of these, 7,300 were established by donors, and most of them are designated for specific purposes, such as supporting first-generation college students or advancing a particular field of study. Stanford has a legal and fiduciary obligation to use these funds as intended.
The Stanford Fund, the annual fund for undergraduate education, provides vital flexibility for supporting students.
The majority of gifts to Stanford—and almost 80 percent of endowment funds—are restricted. Funds given for research, for example, cannot be used for financial aid. Gifts through The Stanford Fund can be used to address the areas of greatest need or to meet unexpected expenses.
When you give through The Stanford Fund, you are also able to designate the destination of your gift to either financial aid, mental health initiatives, academic innovation, student life, or the Opportunity Fund. Targeted gifts sustain these initiatives and allow you to advocate for positive change within the university.
Every cause is important and no gift is too small. When graduates during their first reunion give through The Stanford Fund, gifts are doubled by a generous donor, amplifying our impact on the causes that matter to us, helping to transform Stanford for future generations.
As a recent graduate, you know best how programs and initiatives impact the undergraduate experience. Giving to Stanford, no matter the size of your gift, is a way for you to have your voice heard amongst larger, institutional donors in support of the future of undergraduate programs at Stanford that matter most to us.
Many philanthropists also give simply because they like knowing they are helping someone, regardless of the size of their gift. Gifts can be personally impactful, as well.
Our Class of 2017 Reunion Campaign Committee is looking for leaders within the Class of ’17 to provide their talent, perspective and experience to create an impactful and celebratory campaign.
We hope you’ll consider volunteering for a campaign that brings classmates together to raise funds and awareness for areas of Stanford that directly impact the undergraduate experience.
We encourage you to complete this short interest form if you:
Are passionate about supporting Stanford and effecting positive change
Are looking for opportunities to reconnect with classmates and the University
Have interest in learning more about non-profits and fundraising
Questions? Reach out to our Class Giving Officer, Jessica Noble, at JLNoble@stanford.edu.