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Class of 2018 Senior Gift



($ raised)^(% participation)


Senior Gift is a Caltech tradition that demonstrates the impact of philanthropy on the daily lives of Techers. Though most campus news stories focus on gifts in the millions of dollars, gifts of any amount make a huge difference. Here’s why:

  • The percentage of alumni who give back at any level affects our U.S. News and World Report ranking, increasing the value of a Caltech degree.
  • Alumni participation incentivizes larger corporations and foundations to invest in Caltech.
  • If every one of our living alumni worldwide gave just $20, it would be enough to pay for tuition, room, and board for 7 current Caltech students.
  • 50-80% of MIT seniors typically give to senior gift, and Caltech generally hovers between 35-45%. We can do better than that.

Because participation is so important, Senior Gift is more about promoting the act of giving than it is about raising a huge sum. Seniors typically give $20.1X in honor of their class year. Some give $5 or $10, a few give $50 or $100, and the minimum amount is just $1.


Instead of raising money for a tangible gift like a bench, charging stations, or some new trees, we’re asking seniors to give back to whichever area of campus is most meaningful to them.

This campaign will prepare you for giving back as an alumnus, when you will have the choice to make an unrestricted gift (which goes to Caltech’s highest priorities, like scholarships and financial aid) or restrict your gift to whichever area of campus matters most to you. Many of the opportunities you’ve had—from that SURF at JPL to your House camping trips at Joshua Tree—were made possible by alumni support. That support helps ensure that Caltech will continue to grow and improve, and that the things you loved about your experience will continue to exist for future generations.

Need ideas? Here are some funds you can support:

  • Caltech Fund (highest priorities)
  • Undergraduate Scholarships
  • SURF
  • Art House
  • Student Life
  • Ditch Day
  • House Endowments
  • Instrumental Music
  • Any official campus club
  • …and many more! If you don’t see something that inspires you on this list, feel free to reach out to any of the student leaders listed in the sidebar for additional ideas.


Faculty and admins have challenged us to maximize our giving!

President Rosenbaum and Professor Faber "matriculated" with the Class of 2018 and are doing a special challenge for the first class they've seen all the way through! If 53% of seniors give back at any level, beating the previous record set by the Class of 2017, the President and Professor Faber will give $2,500 to Undergraduate Scholarships. They have also pledged to give $100 for each additional percentage point--up to $7,200!

Professor Soifer will continue his awesome tradition of support by matching all senior gifts up to $40 per gift and up to $2,000 total!

Tom Mannion will be purchasing a commemorative plaque for the Class of 2018 when they hit 25% class participation. This plaque will be in a place of honor on a new communal table that will be made from the Engelmann Oak.


For more details, please contact:

Kathleen LaManna, Assistant Director, Student Philanthropy
626-395-6286 |