Citing the year in the Hebrew calendar and the great importance of giving back to the university, Northwestern President Morty Schapiro asked graduating seniors of Jewish descent to donate $57.74 in an email this morning.
The move was unexpected, as past graduating classes have been asked only to donate according to the year in the Gregorian calendar, recently totaling only about $20. But Schapiro believes it is important for seniors raised in the Jewish tradition to give the extra $37.60.
“More than fundraising, the senior gift is about ensuring the survival of traditions at Northwestern,” said Schapiro in the email, which was sent only to Jewish seniors. “And what better way to honor the Jewish tradition than by identifying yourselves not as the Class of 2014, but as the Class of 5774.”
Added Schapiro, “But also, fundraising.”
This is not the first time Schapiro has asked for an extra donation from the class of graduating seniors. In 2010, he suggested that each senior thank the university with a gift of 20 $10 bills, urging them to recognize the fact that “only 5 classes per century have the great distinction of graduating in a year in which the last two digits are a unit of American currency.” The next year, he encouraged members of the Class of 2011 to donate $100 in honor of the Benjamin Franklin’s 305th birthday.
In other Jewish senior news, the City Council of Ocala, Florida voted this morning to approve the construction of an apartment complex at the corner of 7th Street and Old Blitchton Road.