Why I Give: Cassie Pickens '04

Even before she enrolled, Cassie Pickens '04 found herself coming back to Gettysburg College. "When I was looking at colleges and using different search tools, Gettysburg kept coming up in each," she said. "After campus visits when it came time to pick a college, I realized I was comparing all other schools with Gettysburg. It was an ‘a-ha' moment."

And now that she has graduated Pickens keeps coming back and giving to her alma mater.

She is a loyal and generous donor to the Gettysburg Fund and a Cupola Society Associate. She volunteers with the Key Alumni Resources Effort (K.A.R.E), Gettysburg Career Connections, served as a class agent, and was co-chair for the five-year reunion of the Class of 2004, during October's Homecoming.

When it came time to kick off the new BOLD ('Burgians of the Last Decade) program, Pickens was a standout choice as the first chair of the BOLD Council, the advisory group so crucial to launch and sustain the new program. "Cassie stands out among her peers as one of the College's strongest supporters," said Jen Brennan, assistant director of alumni affairs. "She has volunteered in just about every way imaginable and her dedication to the College made her the clear choice,"

But Pickens also needed to consider her busy life. The Gettysburg political science major earned a master's in education from the University of Pennsylvania and works for Mathematica Policy Research in Princeton, New Jersey.

Why does she now give her time, talent, and financial support to Gettysburg? "Why wouldn't I?" she is quick to respond. "I'm proud of the College, and I want to feel connected. I had a great experience here and every year I learn a little more about what Gettysburg College gave me."

A Presidential Scholar and recipient of the Millard Gladfelter Research Department Prize, Pickens is keenly aware that donors made it possible for her and many of her classmates and friends to attend Gettysburg College.

"I see changes and opportunities on campus through the Eisenhower Institute, Sunderman Conservatory, and the athletic center," Pickens said. "I'm excited to help others take advantage of those opportunities and make the most of their Gettysburg experience. BOLD is another opportunity for young alumni to connect, with each other, with current students, and with the College.