Class of 2007 "Believes" in Graduation Pledge Drive

April 27, 2007

Responding to the campaign theme "Believe," more than 88 percent of the Class of 2007 made pledges toward the class graduation gift.

Gift Co-Chairs (from left) Jack Blanton, Courtney Dredden, and Tara McManigal
Gift Co-Chairs (from left) Jack Blanton, Courtney Dredden, and Tara McManigal

Led by Gift Co-Chairs Tara McManigal, Jack Blanton, and Courtney Dredden, the campaign's 36 class agent volunteers reached out to every student in the class, leading to the second-highest-ever participation pledge drive at the Law School.

According to Blanton, the co-chairs wanted to use a theme for the campaign that was both short and catchy. "We felt that 'Believe' would inspire our classmates to think about what this school has been in the past, what it has been to us these last three years, and what we believe it will continue to be in the future." Dredden originally got the theme idea from the Journey song "Don't Stop Believing" but, she said, "Jack suggested that we shorten it to just 'believe.'"

Working closely with Laura Pietro, director of donor relations and young alumni development at the Law School Foundation, the co-chairs split up the agents and checked in with them weekly for status reports. Blanton also sent out regular updates to all the agents on the status of the campaign, and offered prizes for agents and competitions to get pledge cards in. After each agent brought in as many pledge cards as possible, they joined together as a group to collaborate on each other's pledges.

"Once our classmates thought about the good times and the quality education they received here, we 'believed' they would respond," joked Blanton. "They justified our 'belief' in them."

"Our volunteer agents were incredible," added McManigal. "They worked hard together to make this such a successful campaign."

Overall, the campaign received 321 pledges supporting a variety of causes at the Law School, including the Current Use fund, Law Review, the Public Interest Law Association, Scholarships, Financial Aid, and numerous clubs and organizations.

"Working with this class has been fantastic," said Pietro. "The success of the drive has proven, once again, that a Virginia Law experience is second to none. The incredibly high level of promised support by the Class of 2007 signals great institutional loyalty and affection which our older alumni and prospective students recognize and appreciate. Most importantly, it means the future of the Law School is in good hands. On behalf of everyone at the Law School Foundation and over 600 alumni volunteers, we extend our deep appreciation to the Class of 2007."

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