Sammi Carr, a fourth-year mass media major and Spanish minor, wants to inspire all of her classmates to participate in this year's Senior Class Gift Campaign. As chair of the campaign's student-run committee, she is challenging the Class of 2013 to raise $5,000.

"We're starting earlier this year and focusing on educating students about why giving is so important. We talk about how CSUSM has given so much to us as students and why this is a great way to not only give back to the institution but to other students coming up in our footsteps."

The campaign will officially launch at Thank CSUSM Days during Homecoming Week and will continue throughout spring semester, culminating at commencement.

"Our mission is to promote a philanthropic spirit among the graduating class by providing them with an opportunity to start their legacy of giving to CSUSM," said Sean Briner, associate director of annual programs. "By organizing and financing a campus project or scholarship, our seniors leave behind a bit of their own personality and take their first steps toward being proud alumni."

This year undesignated gifts will go toward a student scholarship fund benefiting graduating seniors in the Class of 2014, but students also have the choice of specifying that their gift goes to a specific academic department, program or a variety of other options. This year's designated gift was chosen based upon the fact that there is tremendous need among CSUSM's students for extra monetary support. Each year, six out of every 10 CSUSM students received financial assistance of some kind to help them complete their studies.

While there is no minimum contribution— anything from $1 to $100 is welcome and celebrated—a suggested gift of $20.13 honors the Class of 2013.

"This is also a wonderful opportunity for parents and family members to honor the accomplishments of their proud senior," said Briner. "And alumni who want to get in on the fun of giving are also welcome to contribute in the amount that represents their graduating year or any amount that they would like to contribute!"

Click here to visit the Senior Class Gift Campaign Page and make your gift in honor of a 2013 senior today.

"We're starting earlier this year and focusing on educating students about why giving is so important. We talk about how CSUSM has given so much to us as students and why this is a great way to not only give back to the institution but to other students coming up in our footsteps," Sammi Carr explains.