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Class of 2010 invites campus and community to share in their two-wheeled campus legacy

Posted by Cassie Hall '13, Brookings, South Dakota on Thursday, Apr. 1, 2010

For the past three years, University of Minnesota, Morris seniors have come together to give back to the campus and community that welcomed them during their time as students at Morris. Each class has made a gift on the occasion of their graduation: the paver-lined sidewalk in front of the Welcome Center from the Class of 2007, the Pomme de Terre Park disc golf course from the Class of 2008 and community supporters, and the row of evergreen trees near Big Cat Stadium from the Class of 2009.

This year, the Class of 2010 will instate the UMM BikeShare program as its legacy. With this new program, campus students who don’t possess bicycles will have access to two-wheeled transportation. The seniors are gathering bikes that will be painted gold for easy identification. The bikes will be available for students to run errands, get to class, or even take a leisurely ride downtown or to local parks. After the student is done with the bike, he or she will simply return it to a UMM bike rack.

The Class of 2010 would like to invite members of the campus and community to join them in their efforts. If you have a bike you are not using, you may donate it to the program. Contributors may fill out a simple form with the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving to receive gift credit.

Seniors Jenna Sandoe, Rochester, and Ashley Gaschk, Bismarck, North Dakota, lead the BikeShare project. “We envision the bicycles being of great use to students who wouldn’t bike enough to bring their own bicycle from home, but would still like an option to get around town other than driving or on foot,” says Gaschk. “…I know people would use them.”

The BikeShare program not only serves as the Class of 2010’s legacy, but as an inspiration for philanthropy and to promote the campus’s concern for environmental friendliness.

“[The program] is a very renewable and sustainable idea that fits great with the mission of Morris,” says Erin Christensen ’05, project adviser and program associate in the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “It is just the kind of program that Morris should have.”

“I visited another campus that had a similar program,” says Gaschk. “I thought it was very ‘UMM-y,’ and I though we could improve on the programs at other schools and implement one here. We hope the bikes’ availability will allow people to take fewer short car trips.”

“The plan is to have the bikes in place before 2010 commencement,” said Christensen.

For more information about the program or to donate a bike, contact Christensen at 320-589-6067.