Fallcoming offered an incredible glimpse into changes on College Hill and we're happy to report the Kirkland legacy is vibrantly alive. We saw it in the enthusiasm students had for the open curriculum, in the women and men majoring in Hispanic Studies and Photography, tackling exciting projects outside of their classrooms, in the kinds of internships students have crafted, the pedagogic scholarship they seek, the heavy traffic in to the Writing Center at the newly-expanded Kirner-Johnson, and in those seeking connections particularly with Kirkland women. The students are nearly obsessed with talking to us about our years on the Hill, the kind of place Kirkland was, the merger, and discussing life after college. It is exciting and stimulating to interact with these young people and to see the strong interest in our experience and perspectives. In other words, Kirkland lives! Women on the Hill embody the best of the Kirkland spirit. They're articulate and passionate, engaged, socially conscious and diverse in thought, commitment, and action. So are the men. The students hunger for mentorship and connections - especially to the Kirkland experience - and to us.
It was also encouraging to hear the Hamilton Alumni Council discuss innovation and diversity in ways that were reminiscent of our Kirkland years. We saw some major changes in curriculum, academic commitment and verbal expression that clearly demonstrate the Kirkland spirit persists even when we are not physically present. Currently, the Class of 2013 has settled into life on College Hill. They've learned how to navigate from the Burke Library to Kirkland Glen, started delving into projects, attending many diversity-themed celebrations during Fallcoming, and are hunkering down for midterm exams. As these first-year students embark upon their Hamilton careers, they are also immersing themselves in many college traditions. Whether cognizant or not, many of the students are also recipients of a vital Hamilton tradition: alumni philanthropy.
More than half of the 466 students in the Class of 2013 receive some level of financial assistance. The Hill is a place of opportunity, where the academic experience is of paramount importance, where students can study art history or photography in the morning and physics, biology or writing in the afternoon; where campus life remains vibrant from the performance halls to the athletic fields to dinner discussion in Commons; where professors challenge students to stretch beyond their comfort zones as they identify, analyze and articulate critical issues. Thanks to support from alumni, our reputation as one of the premier liberal arts institutions in the nation remains solid.
There's also a conversation going on about Hamilton's upcoming bicentennial celebration and discernible interest in including Kirkland history and alumnae like never before. Prophetically, 2012 is also Kirkland's Fortieth Reunion. That makes it seem right for us to stand in unison like never before. The passion for our history and interest in our legacy offers a world of possibilities and opportunities for participation. We want to continue growing our legacy and impact and we need to start now. We're aiming for 80 percent participation, at any level. A $25 donation (or more) from each of you would make a bold statement, especially as we head toward 2012. More importantly, it shows we are gearing up in a big way for our own Fortieth Reunion. You can restrict your gift to Kirkland initiatives such as the Kirkland Endowment, Samuel Fisher Babbitt award, among many. To see a complete list, go to Kirkland Giving Initiatives.
The total sum of Kirkland giving also plays a critical part in the ongoing success of Hamilton College, and as such, preservation of our legacy. Each gift to the Annual Fund - no matter what size, opens up new opportunities for students. We're inviting you to join us in making your annual gift today and doing your part to ensure current students have the same experience we had as undergraduates. Our giving demonstrates to the Class of 2013 that philanthropy is a core part of what it means to be educated on College Hill.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Judy Silverstein Gray K'78
Tami J. Aisenson K'75 P'12
Annie Karl Halvorsen K'76 P'09
Connie Miner K'74
Susan Skerritt K'77 P'11
Penny Watras Dana K'78