Charter Trustee and Chair of the Committee on Development Jack Withiam ’71 has challenged Hamilton alumni to make their year-end contributions today. Jack, who has been called the “father of the Annual Fund in the new millennium,” promised to contribute $30,000 if 615 alumni make a contribution.
“I sincerely want alumni to take my money,” Jack said in a recent conversation with Jon Hysell ’72, executive director of alumni relations and annual giving. Jack said further, “The importance of annual gifts to our college cannot be overstated. Alumni have never let us down before and I am confident they will come through again today.”
The Annual Fund supports the College's highest priorities, hence Jack’s $30,000 - an amount equal to the average student financial aid package. Private liberal arts colleges depend on alumni support and Hamilton’s Annual Fund target of $6.4M equals the revenue a $128M endowment. Put in starker terms, a Hamilton education is a superior one because of the 9:1 student/faculty ratio. Without Annual Fund revenue the ratio would be 13:1 or 63 fewer professors.
The fund year ends on June 30. Hamilton’s storied history of alumni participation is the envy of our peers and an important element in third party college rankings. When alumni reach 50 percent participation it will be the 33rd year in a row – a record that no other college in the United States has exceeded. As Jack has often said, “While you can’t spend participation you know it adds value to a Hamilton degree and is a well deserved source of pride for all alumni.”