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2010 Seniors to gift a mobile legacy to campus

Posted by Cassie Hall '13, Brookings, South Dakota on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009

Event Date/Time: Friday, Dec. 11, 2009 5:30 pm
Location: Oyate Hall

For the past three years, University of Minnesota, Morris seniors have come together to give back to the community that welcomed them during their times as students. These gifts have included the walkway at the Community Services building, the disc golf course at Pomme de Terre Park, and the evergreen trees planted at Big Cat Stadium.

This year, the Class of 2010 will instate the UMM BikeShare program as its legacy. With this program, students who don’t possess bicycles at Morris, but would like to use one for brief errands or to get to class, will have access to one. The bikes will be easily identifiable, as they will be painted gold. After the student is done with the bike, he or she will simply return it to a UMM bike rack.

Students who do own bikes are free to donate their two-wheeled transportation to the program and receive credit for the gift by filling out a simple form with the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.

Seniors Jenna Sandoe, Rochester, and Ashley Gaschk, Bismarck, North Dakota, currently 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 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 project will be formally unveiled and the campaign for bicycles and donations will begin during a kick-off at the University of Minnesota, Morris Alumni Association’s Fourth Annual Senior Banquet on Friday, December 11, 2009.

“It is a great way to celebrate and end the fall semester,” says Christensen. “The plan is to have the bikes in place before commencement!”