The contribution will serve as the lead gift for the renewal of Hamilton's science facilities, the most expensive building endeavor in the college's history.
"This leadership gift recognizes the affection Nancy Brown Wellin and her husband Keith Wellin '50 have for Hamilton," said President Eugene M. Tobin. "It is a critical step forward in reasserting our leadership position in undergraduate science education by providing committed teacher-scholars and intellectually curious and conscientious students with the facilities they expect and deserve.
"Experts across the nation recognize that an education in mathematics and science is one of the fundamental components of a modern liberal arts experience," Tobin added. "Hamilton welcomes the opportunity this gift provides to embrace fully the prominent place of science in liberal education.
Although final plans have yet to be determined pending the completion of an audit of Hamilton's science facilities, the need is clear: the Science Building was built in 1925 and renovated in 1965, and the Saunders Hall of Chemstry was built in 1903 and was last renovated in 1978. Since that time, undergraduate science education has undergone a tremendous transformation. Hamilton now needs a major overhaul of its science facilities to continue to keep pace.
Renewed science facilities are the capstone of Hamilton's current fund-raising campaign. When The New Century Campaign was announced to the public in September 1997, alumni and friends of the college had already committed $40 million toward the $83 million goal. The nearly four-year fund-raising effort will conclude on June 30, 2001.
Included in the campaign's record total are $31 million for student support, including $27 million for endowed scholarships; $14 million for faculty development, including $9 million for six new named professorships; $18 million to renew Hamilton's science facilities; $5 million for programs and facilities that support the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center, Hamilton's undergraduate public policy think tank; and $15 million in unrestricted annual giving over the life of the campaign.
"In one form or another, every major goal of The New Century Campaign is directed toward improving student quality and achievement," Tobin said. "Much remains to be done, because our aspirations are great, but the response thus far has been exceptionally encouraging."
The Brown Foundation has been a consistent supporter of Hamilton College and its students. In 1993, the foundation established an endowed scholarship fund for students from Texas, with preference given to those Hamilton students from the Houston area.
Hamilton was originally a frontier school for native Oneida Indians and the children of early settlers; later it was an all-male college. Hamilton today is a private, nonsectarian liberal arts college enrolling approximately 1,650 men and women from around the country and the world.