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Annual Fund, Key Gifts Buck Economic Trend

Rarely have such gloomy economic times produced such sunny philanthropic news for the College. Over the course of little more than a month this summer, Hamilton received four separate million-dollar gifts and wrapped up an Annual Fund campaign that posted remarkable numbers despite the financial storms.

  • Setting the tone for the summer was A.G. Lafley '69, chairman of the Board of Trustees, who observed at the end of May, "This has been a challenging year for higher education, and additional financial aid for students is Hamilton's most pressing need." The chairman and CEO of ­Procter & Gamble addressed that need with a $1 million pledge for scholarships in conjunction with his 40th class reunion. He also challenged classmates to provide $50,000 to establish a Class of 1969 endowed scholarship. "The College is committed to increasing need-based scholarships for current and future ­students," Lafley said, "and I'm happy to be part of that effort." More ...
  • Just a week later, an anonymous donor provided Hamilton with an additional $1 million gift devoted to need-based scholarships. "I can think of few other people so ­caring, supportive and committed to Hamilton students," then-Acting President and Dean of Faculty Joseph Urgo said in response. He pointed out that this year about half of Hamilton's students will receive more than $24 million in need-based aid, with 40 percent of that provided by ­endowment income earned from funds specifically established for scholarship aid. More ...
  • Within a few days, a second anonymous donor presented the College with a $1 million gift covering most of the cost of replacing the turf at Steuben Field with an artificial grass ­surface. The gift, augmented by contributions from former athletes and parents of current student-athletes, among others, made possible a long-awaited upgrade that will be completed in time for Hamilton's Sept. 26 home football opener against Amherst. The field also will be used for men's and women's lacrosse and intramural sports. "This was a major and necessary upgrade that was first identified years ago," said Jon Hind '80, director of athletics. More ...
  • In mid-June, Jeff Little '71, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees and president and COO of George Little Management, addressed yet another critical need of the College: housing. About two-thirds of Little's $1 million gift is being used to convert lounges in Bundy East and West Residence Halls into apartment-style residences for 16 ­students. "I received an excellent education from Hamilton 40 years ago," Little said, "and I want to do what I can to ensure that today's students have a similar experience. I believe that a ­student's residential experience on campus is an important part" of that education. More ...
  • In the wake of these gifts, the College closed out the fiscal year with the announcement that the number of Hamilton alumni who gave unrestricted contributions to the College in the last year increased as compared with the previous year, as did the size of those gifts. More than 52 percent of all alumni participated in the Annual Fund, making this the 28th consecutive year that at least 50 percent have contributed. Fewer than two dozen U.S. ­colleges and universities have alumni participation rates greater than 50 percent, and even fewer have sustained that rate over many years. Additionally, total unrestricted dollars from Hamilton alumni increased from $5.8 million to $6 million. Hamilton officials credited the efforts of alumni leaders and the generosity of their classmates as well as a series of "challenges" for the success. "Giving back is simply in our DNA as Hamilton alumni," said George Baker '74, who chaired the campaign. More ...

The recent largesse will have an immediate and dramatic impact on the College's students and facilities, but Urgo pointed out that such gifts carry another message as well. "They also signal that Hamilton, through the support of its alumni, parents and friends, is continuing to invest in its students and programs, even during this difficult economy," he said. "Our objective is to emerge from this recession as an even stronger College able to meet the needs of an increasingly talented, capable and diverse student body."

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Stacey Himmelberger

Editor, Hamilton Alumni Review
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
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