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The Student News Site of Principia College

The Pilot

The Student News Site of Principia College

The Pilot

The Class of 2024 picks Bluff Lookout as gift


The 2024 graduates have picked their class gift. They have chosen to renovate the lookout area on the bluffs and fix the telescope. Class representatives Chris Ajuoga and Gloria Ishimwe are working with Tyler Winterbottom, who manages the Principia Giving program, to complete this project. 

Winterbottom, who started managing the giving program in 2022, said he oversaw both the Class of 2022 gift – the water bottle fillers stations – and the Class of 2023 gift – the native pollinators by the Pub patio. “I do this for both the college and the school. Managing two different groups of senior classes is an adventure,” he said.

“It was presented to us by the 50th reunion class,” Ishimwe said, “They asked if we would be interested in collaborating. I visited the bluffs lookout area most of the summer and I think a lot of people go there. It’s an iconic spot, people use it. It’s a way to give back to the community.”

Tyler Winterbottom is helping us prepare, showing us how to get the most donations

Gloria ishimwe

The 50th reunion class includes the Classes of 1974 and 1975. 

Ishimwe and Winterbottom said it was important for the entire senior class to participate in the project. “With the gift, the main measure of success for us is not the dollar amount that we raise, but it’s seeing the participation from the senior class because it’s their gift. We want them to all feel like they’re a part of it,” said Winterbottom. 

Ishimwe said her and Ajouga’s main tasks are raising money, getting the class involved, and getting merchandise, “It can be hard to get people excited. But I have faith in us,” she said. 

The merchandise is a fundraising initiative. Winterbottom said, “Typically senior classes have senior class apparel. When I say apparel – traditionally, it’s been sweatshirts.”

Winterbottom said the class has some tasteful hoodie designs. They are also making hats according to Ishimwe. 

“Tyler Winterbottom has been helping us prepare, showing us how to get the most donations,” says Ishimwe.

There are two big fundraising days, Giving Tuesday (which was on Nov. 28) and the Spring Day of Giving. 

“On those two days, the senior class fund is featured on a site that is shared with thousands of alumni, friends of Principia, parents of students,” Winterbottom said, “ It’s a great opportunity for the senior class to do some outreach, and tell people, ‘Hey, this is a great time to give!’ Those two days also have a goal associated with them.” 

The various matching challenges are on the “matches” page of the Principia Giving website. There is a maximum challenge of 1,200 gifts which unlocks $120,000 of additional funding. 

There are Principia clubs in various cities around the United States, like Seattle, or Boston. Winterbottom said, “These Prin clubs donate money to the senior classes as well as both the school and college. In exchange, the senior classes create and distribute treat bags for all the students on the college campus and all the boarding students on the school campus. This typically happens around finals time.”

Senior Gloria Ishimwe is one of the class representatives.

Winterbottom said that there is something special about the Class of 2024. He said that in the past, the senior class raised money for a project, they graduated in May, and it typically gets done either in the Summer or early Fall. This time, if enough money is raised soon, there is potential for graduates to open the gift during graduation week. Winterbottom said that would be special because it had never happened before. “What a great thing to be celebrating graduation and being able to reveal your gift to everyone and people being able to use it,” he said.

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