June 7, 2017

“There’s service in the way we contribute to the community for Buenafication Day each year, but there’s also a monetary way of giving back, such as through the Senior Campaign,” says Skyler Gorsett, Class of 2017, Senior Campaign co-chair. Gorsett is one of five student leaders of the Senior Class Campaign who chose to designate funds raised toward a relaxation space in health services as part of the upcoming Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum renovation. 

In February, the BVU Board of Trustees approved a campaign to raise philanthropic resources in order to renovate the Forum. Following the approval, senior leaders chose to name their campaign “Pave the Way for Moore Opportunities,” honoring the 17th President before his departure in June. Haley Stevens, Class of 2017, said, “With President Moore leaving this year, we wanted to integrate a ‘thank you’ to him as part of our excitement for the renovation.”

The seniors’ plan is to help create a space where students can relax and de-stress for many years to come. The recent addition of a massage chair to health services has been so popular that it is currently managed by a waiting list, especially during finals week. Alexis Beenken, Class of 2017, says, “Students have a lot on their minds so it’s really important to have a central place where they can relax, which is why we’ve chosen to support this project.” The Senior Campaign funds will go toward creating a space with soothing colors, molding sand, coloring books, calming music, and a mood light to simulate sunshine during winter months. The addition of a second massage chair as well as computer programs to help students relax in a quiet space is also anticipated.

“This University has invested a lot in us, and we want to do the same for BVU which has helped shape us into who we are today.”

Haley Stevens

Stevens says, “The Forum renovation design concept is such an inspiration for us, that this is our way to become a part of it and leave our mark without actually being there. Even though we won’t enjoy the space as students, President Moore’s leadership inspired us to give.” Knowing that they wouldn’t be at BVU to see their project go into effect until after the renovation is completed was a topic of discussion for the senior leaders, but all five said that they strongly believe this is something that students will enjoy for years to come.

Each senior chair had three to five team member working with them, encouraging their classmates to donate. With an aim of raising $2,000, the seniors surpassed their goal with an ending balance of $3,372. Approximately $300 of the total amount raised was distributed to other student-designated areas such as athletics and student organizations. A portion of the total was also donated by senior parents.

Katie Turnquist, Class of 2017, explained that those who chose to donate more than $25 had the opportunity to contribute to a book created for President Moore by writing a personal note. “It’s similar to a yearbook, filled with memories and photos from the last four years at BVU,” she says. The senior campaign is a long standing tradition at BVU, with roots beginning in 1992. For Turnquist and the rest of the seniors, their gift symbolizes a practice of giving back, and provides incoming students with something to look forward to.

Stevens says, “BVU’s motto is Education for Service, and I can say that we learn to serve others whether individually or in our careers. This University has invested a lot in us, and we want to do the same for BVU which has helped shape us into who we are today.”