MSEL Reserve Room To Benefit From Senior Class Donation Co-chairs estimate total gift may exceed $10,000 By Mike Gluck / Special to The Gazette On Thursday, the only task for graduating seniors will be to walk across a stage, shake a few hands and grab a diploma. To get to this point, however, each student has spent perhaps thousands of hours studying and reading. And while most Hopkins students are accustomed to burning the midnight oil, it helps to have a sturdy table and a comfortable chair. Hitting the books should come easier, then, for next year's student body. This year's Homewood senior class gift provides much needed funds for refurbishing the Reserve Room in the Milton S. Eisenhower Library. The Reserve Room is a popular study area for undergraduates. Many professors leave required or supplementary reading materials or past years' exams at the Reserve Room desk, where students can check out copies. The senior class gift money will be used to purchase new oak armchairs, sofas and tables. The final amount of the gift is still up in the air, as seniors have until June 30 to make donations. However, senior class gift representatives have estimated that the total may even exceed $10,000. "If all goes according to plan, this is the largest senior class gift yet," said Jen Moore, senior class gift co-chair. She and fellow co-chairs Jeremy Epstein and Ipsita Ghoshtagore have organized phone-a-thons in order to solicit donations from seniors. Incentives for giving include T-shirts, coffee mugs and ads in the Johns Hopkins News-Letter that list the names of contributing seniors. In addition, the Class of '95 has raised money by holding Senior Nights at local bars and restaurants. Popular sites have included E-Level (the new student bar launched by the Class of '93 gift) and nearby PJ's Pub. Members of the senior class also manned a keg at the Spring Fair Beer Garden. Shelley Maus, assistant director of the Annual Fund and the fund's contact for the senior class gift, said that fund raising for this year's gift has been "really unbelievable." She noted that the average senior class gift in years past has been approximately $4,000. Last year's senior class gift--$7,100 that the Class of '94 donated toward the construction of a coffee shop on campus--is being held until an appropriate location for the cafe can be found. Maus indicated that one possibility may be to include the coffee shop in the planned Fine Arts Center. The Reserve Room refurbishing was by far the most popular idea voted on by seniors, according to Moore. As one would expect, it was also well received by library personnel. Ellen Stifler, director of development for the library, said that the new furniture will "improve the looks of [the Reserve Room] area tremendously," and should be in place before students return in the fall. In addition, the senior class gift, which will be marked by a plaque in the Reserve Room, will signal the beginning of a series of improvements to the M and A levels of the library. "The funds raised by the senior class will create the first visible sign of the library's planned refurbishment," said interim library director Stephen G. Nichols. "The new furnishings will be a welcome sight to students as they return to campus in the fall." The furniture will be "like the first crocus of spring," said Stifler. Beginning early next year, library officials plan to upgrade studying conditions throughout the two floors. But until then, students who want the best seat in the house may want to head for the Reserve Room. And then say thanks to the Class of '95.
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