Gift registry supports Wabash building
Published: Monday, February 6, 2012
Updated: Monday, February 6, 2012 12:02
Most students would be surprised to notice that, in anticipation of the opening of Roosevelt's new Wabash building, there is a "housewarming" gift registry.
Items rotate every once in awhile, but the lineup ranges from an $8 clock to a $6,000 LCD projector. In addition to the purchases, all of the items are tax-deductible. For a purchase to be tax-deductible, it must be an itemized donation to either a private charity or non-profit.
"They're more like donations," Paul Matthews, vice president of campus planning, agreed. "To donate a ‘gift' is to support the new building."
Donors over $2,000 will have an engraved plaque that will be on the ground floor lobby of the Wabash building.
Kim Gibson-Harman, the vice president of campaigns and operations, is in charge of the Wabash gift registry.
"It was actually President Middleton's idea, back in 2010," she said. "And we [the Office of Institutional Development] thought it was a great idea…so we launched the online gift registry in November 2010."
When asked about the response she's encountered from students and alumni, she replied, "So far we're still trying to promote it and publicize it in e-mail blasts to alumni, students and trustees. We tried to make a fair range of price points, so it's easier for students who would like to donate to do so."
Reactions have been mixed among alumni, who, according to the Office of Institutional Advancement, have been the primary demographic to donate.
Amy Bolin, a recent alumna, was surprised to hear this.
"I don't think I would be likely to donate," she said. "The phonathon and alumni association are already asking us for ‘support' when we just graduated with student loan debt."
The registry has been met with a positive response from other alumni. The Northwest Suburban and Southeast Florida Alumni Chapters have independently held fundraisers in order to donate to the gift registry.
"They have each furnished a dormitory floor," said Gibson-Harman, "which is $60,000 apiece. On their respective floors, we will have a plaque dedicating the floor to the alumni chapter who furnished it. We appreciate their generosity."
Criticisms of the debt from the new building had arisen with recent press, namely the Chicago Reader's article detailing the building's $123 million cost versus dropping enrollment numbers.
Gibson-Harman denied the registry's effect on the building's debt.
"The overall donations from the registry will be small," she replied. "The purpose is mostly to build up excitement, publicity and support for the Wabash building opening."
To find out more about the gift registry or make a donation, go to www.roosevelt.edu/wabash/registry.