Carroll's Class of '72, now four years away from their 50th reunion, already has a goal in mind to help celebrate the milestone: raising $100,000 for scholarships to help support a Carroll education for future Pioneers.
Reunion committee member Alicia McCareins recalled her own experiences as a Carroll student when she relied on the school’s financial aid packages to help fund her education, much like students still do today. About 98% of students enrolled at Carroll benefit from financial aid and the generosity of alumni like those in the Class of ’72 who work to help raise funds through reunion giving.
“It is my turn now, and I know my classmates feel the same way, to reach out and continue the tradition,” she said. “Giving back to Carroll and helping other students is the best way my classmates and I can say, ‘Thank you’.”
The class first created the fund in 2012 in honor of their 40th reunion with a goal to reach $25,000 before their 45th reunion in 2017, wanting to have a lasting gift that would have an impact. They met the goal and have so far distributed two scholarship awards to students, with a third recipient receiving funding this academic year.
Alicia said reaching their initial goal was “a wonderful moment. I never doubted we could do it, and our classmates’ willingness to give what they could, reinforced the fact that though many years had passed, the bond established between 1968 and 1972 was unbroken. That is the spirit of Carroll at work.”
She added that receiving letters of gratitude from recipients of the scholarship fund is reinforcement of their committee’s appeal to classmates to be a part of an effort that they will continue to build.
With the success of their initial fundraising efforts, the Class of ’72 decided after the 45th reunion to boost their goal to $100,000 in anticipation of their 50th reunion in 2022. The amount was chosen to symbolize their 100 percent effort as a committee to get 100 percent support from their classmates. So far 44 members from the Class of ’72 have contributed $65,000 in outright gifts and pledges.
Said reunion committee member Jim Quirk: “I had such a wonderful educational experience while at Carroll that I wanted to assist in this fundraising effort. I felt it was an opportunity for me to show gratitude for what Carroll had provided to me in terms of experiencing a great education. I was also blown away with the thought that it will actually be 50 years since I graduated, and yet I still have such fond memories of Carroll!”
Gary Chiaverotti also appreciated the scholarships he received as a student. Aside from his work with the class fund, he is also working toward building funds in his own scholarship for students, the Capt. Gary R. Chiaverotti Endowed Scholarship.
“I wanted to give somebody else help like I got help,” he said. “I would never have been able to go to Carroll without that help.” He said it’s been rewarding “just seeing the endowed scholarship go up and knowing you’re going to affect more people and allow them to hopefully have the same positive experience we had at Carroll. It’s a unique place."
In encouraging other Carroll classes to follow their example, Gary said the fundraising among friends is not as hard as it might seem. “You have to have a plan and enough people with dedication to actually make phone calls and reach out to people. And I think our group of six is that kind of group.”