Senior Gift Committee tallies best-ever response to annual fundraising effort

Monday, May 9, 2016
An illustration of the UNH fanny pack

The 603 Challenge is underway, giving the entire UNH community a chance to follow the lead of the class of 2016.

Fanny pack. Belt pack. Buffalo pouch. Hip sack. By whichever name you call it, this 1980s trend in hands-free accessorizing is back with a vengeance.

Just ask UNH’s newest alumni, the class of 2016.

Take the 603 Challenge

While there might not be fanny packs up for grabs, UNH faculty, staff, alumni and parents can build on the momentum of giving that the class of 2016 has set.

The 603 Challenge is underway, and to honor UNH’s founding in 1866, the goal is for 1,866 individuals to make gifts by end-of-day Friday, June 3.

Each gift will receive a dollar-for-dollar match up to $250, thanks to a generous group of donors.

And what a difference those donations can make.

As Katelyn Welch ’16 sums it up. “The amazing opportunities students have on this campus would not be possible without donations. This made me very passionate about donating and getting others to donate so that future generations of students can have the same experiences and learning opportunities I have had in my time at UNH."

Give to The 603 Challenge

To encourage their classmates to give to the class gift fundraising effort in the weeks before graduation, members of the Senior Gift Committee used #UNH16 fanny packs to raise awareness of the senior gift. And it worked.

“They were huge in getting people to donate,” Meghan Carroll ’16 says. “Everyone wanted a UNH16 fanny pack!” 

“The senior gift has officially blown me away,” says Lorianne Saniuk, assistant director of annual giving.

The main focus of the effort is participation, and this year, the goal was to get 10 percent of the class of 2016 to donate.

When the final numbers were in, “we reached 11.48-percent participation — the highest participation ever,” Saniuk explains.

This week, with The 603 Challenge, the UNH community as a whole has the chance to follow the lead of the class of 2016. Just like the senior gift, The 603 Challenge is all about participation. The goal this year is 1,866 participants in honor of UNH’s founding year.

“We’re hoping that alumni, faculty, staff — the entire UNH community will catch the spirit of our class of 2016,” Saniuk says. “Even though they’ve been in school and most have not begun working full-time yet, they stepped up for their university and set a new record in their support for UNH.”

In the weeks leading up to The 603 Challenge, UNH Today asked members of the Senior Gift Committee what made their effort such a success.

"Being involved around campus is really important to me, so when I was asked to be a part of the senior class gift, I could not resist making an impact on generations to come," says Katelyn Welch '16, a College of Engineering and Physical Sciences graduate. “It surprised me to learn that so many of the things that students participate in around campus come from alumni and senior gift donations, so telling this to friends and other students really got them thinking that they could help others have just as much fun at UNH as they did in their time here.”

Jonathan Dean ’17, president of the student body and vice-president of the student alumni network, also worked on the effort.

“This has been the best year to date for getting seniors involved in the senior gift. It has been exciting for me to see students so willing to give back to their institution and proves that students who go to UNH are proud to be Wildcats,” Dean says.

Now the Senior Gift Committee challenges you to keep the momentum going during The 603 Challenge from June 1–3. Make a gift here.



Loren Marple ’13 | Communications and Public Affairs | | 603-862-0600
Scott Ripley | UNH Marketing | | 603-862-1855