Name the Heights Offers Donors “15 Minutes of Fame”

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Name the Heights

From snowy walks down Linden Lane, to tailgates in the Mods and all-too-quiet moments on the second floor of Bapst, Boston College students make memories across campus during their four years in Chestnut Hill.

Throughout the month of February, BC alumni had the opportunity to make their mark on campus again, if only for a little while. Designed by the Office of University Advancement of the Cadigan Alumni Center, the Name the Heights fundraising campaign was intended to raise money for various University programs and engage the BC community in a lighthearted way.

The campaign was conceived in fall 2016, when Andria Silva, director of marketing and participation for annual giving, brainstormed and researched fundraising concepts with her marketing team. The team communicated with other universities about successful campaigns they had done in the past. One of the schools had launched a successful fundraising campaign centered on the idea of naming places on campus after alumni. The Office of University Advancement drew upon these campaigns for inspiration.

The first step for the marketing team was finding campus landmarks to name. Traditionally, major buildings on campus are named after people who played important roles in shaping the BC community. For example, Bapst Library is named in honor of Rev. Johannes Bapst, S.J., the first president of Boston College.

As a result, the team looked for smaller landmarks to name, and turned to alumni for inspiration. Members of the marketing team reached out to alumni and asked about their favorite on-campus memories. Because the campaign was intended to be far-reaching and multi-generational, the team selected places and things that would relate to alumni of all ages.  

“The campus has changed over the years, but some landmarks are classic, like a chair in Bapst Library or a tree on Linden Lane,” Silva said.

Next, emails were sent out to alumni about the campaign. Videos, graphic designs, and messages were all developed by University Advancement’s communications and marketing teams. The videos promoting the campaign broadened interest and sparked curiosity among alumni and current undergrads alike.

Donors who participated in the Name the Heights campaign could be entered into a drawing to name one of eight minor landmarks across campus. Thus far, six of the landmarks have been revealed and named: a quad in the Mods, the 8 a.m. Newton Bus, men’s hockey head coach Jerry York’s whiteboard, a table for two in Corcoran Commons, a tree on Linden Lane, and a chair in Bapst Library.  All landmarks were affixed with nameplates that featured the name and graduation year of winning donors for their “15 minutes of fame.”

Two landmarks are revealed each week on the campaign’s website, and the winners are randomly selected and announced in the following days. The last two landmarks will be revealed on Tuesday, Feb. 28, and winners will be announced on Friday, March 3.

Photos of the newly-named landmarks are shared with the BC community via email, social media, and the Name the Heights website. The Name the Heights campaign team sends the winning donors a congratulatory package, which includes a framed photo of their landmark.

In addition to naming campus landmarks after people who greatly impacted their college community, universities often name buildings after donors as a sign of appreciation for major donations. Our very own Stokes Hall, which opened in January of 2013, was named after Patrick T. Stokes, BC ’64, and Anna-Kristina Stokes, who made a $22 million gift to the university.

Unlike Stokes Hall, named such as a permanent designation, the campus landmarks of the Name the Heights campaign are named temporarily, often for less than a day.

The Cadigan Center holds a variety of fundraising campaigns throughout the calendar year. Most recently, November’s Giving Tuesday campaign, which has been a national event for many nonprofits following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, raised over $625,000 for the University, including $200,000 donated by a single anonymous donor to support student financial aid.
“Donors are helping to strengthen priorities like financial aid, academics, mission and ministry programs, and student activities,” Silva said. “Gifts of all sizes add up and demonstrate the collective strength of the BC community.”

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

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