Class gifts

Senior class gifts are a long-standing tradition at UNC—Chapel Hill and other colleges and universities. The outgoing class typically selects a project and raises money from class members and others. The statues of Venus de Milo, Minerva, and Apollo in Murphey Hall were gifts from the classes of 1900, 1901, and 1902. As electricity came to the campus, the class of 1903 purchased electric lights for Gerrard Hall. The class of 1988 raised money to create Fordham Court, the fountain and seating area between Carr Building, Bynum Hall, and historic Playmakers Theatre. The class of 2001 may be unique in that its gift included living creatures —the aquarium in the Graham Student Union. The class of 2002 provided funding for the Unsung Founders Memorial on McCorkle Place. Perhaps the most notorious class gift to date was the Student Body sculpture from the class of 1985. Other classes have donated benches, bronze plaques, campus gateways, trees, and more.

A class gift may also be a fund. Classes have given to the library, for teaching awards and other faculty recognition, and for scholarships and student support. The class of 1969 may have been the first to endow a student scholarship, and some subsequent classes have chosen to add their gift to the fund. Since the early 2000s senior classes have encouraged its members to pledge an annual gift to any university need. Stone markers at the base of the bell tower recognize each class's total participation.