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Hamilton’s Reunion Classes Lead the Annual Fund

Generosity of Reunion Alumni Make $6-Million Goal Possible

Contact Erika Klar 315-859-4593
Posted August 7, 2009
Tags Annual Fund Reunions '09
Hamilton College achieved a new record Annual Fund in fiscal year 2008-09, with unrestricted gifts from alumni, parents and other sources totaling more than $6 million. A key factor in this success – which is all the more extraordinary in this uncertain economic climate – is the remarkable generosity of alumni from the Classes of 1944 to 2004 celebrating five-year reunions this year. While accounting for 18 percent of Hamilton’s solicitable base, these alumni contributed a full 25 percent of the Annual Fund dollars.

Examples of outstanding achievement include:

  • Class of 1944, led by gift chair John Root, increased its Annual Fund giving from $25,778 to $30,363.  The class also increased its participation rate to an impressive 87.5 percent.
  • Class of 1949, led by gift chair Lowell Swarts and planning chair Bert Wright, raised a total of $45,125 for the Annual Fund, increasing from last year’s $39,488.  The class also increased participation this year by more than 4 percent from last year.
  • Class of 1959, led by gift chairs Ronald French and Hans Solmssen, and planning chairs Steven Anthony and Daniel Murdock, achieved its highest participation rate on record (76.4 percent).
  • Class of 1964, led by gift chair Thomas Slaight and planning chair Thomas “Pat” Guerin, increased its participation rate to 68.4 percent, the fourth consecutive year of increased participation.  ’64 Annual Fund dollars also increased by more than $37,000 this year from last ($122,585 to $159,953), the third year in a row of increased Annual Fund dollar totals.
  • Class of 1969, led by gift chair Jeffrey Parsons and planning chairs Steven Kenny and E. John Effinger, achieved its highest participation on record (73.9 percent).  The class also contributed its highest Annual Fund total on record ($166,661 from a previous high of $99,548).
  • Class of 1974, led by gift chair Cosmo Castellano and planning chair Edward Watkins, contributed a total of $89,778 for the Annual Fund, an increase of more than $19,000 from last year.  This is also the class’s second highest Annual Fund total on record.
  • Class of 1979, led by gift chairs Aron Ain and George Nehme, and planning chairs Ellen Keats and Angela Valenziano Ross, contributed a total of $259,219 for the Annual Fund, a 41.5 percent increase from last year.  This is also the class’s second highest Annual Fund total on record.
  • Class of 1984, led by gift chairs Montgomery Pooley, Julia Ross and Alan Schmiedicker, and planning chairs Thomas Griggs and Elizabeth Menges, increased its participation rate a significant 5 percent to 54.3 percent.  In addition, the class contributed its all-time highest Annual Fund total ($383,571 from a previous high of $213,677) – the highest of all alumni classes.
  • Class of 1989, led by gift chairs Amy Merin and Thomas Salatte, and planning chair R. Douglas Shaw, contributed its all-time highest Annual Fund total ($74,861 from a previous high of $41,882).  This number also more than doubled last year’s total ($37,195).
  • Class of 1994, led by gift chair Sarah Green and planning chair A. Sona Virdi, contributed its all-time highest Annual Fund total ($42,476 from a previous high of $34,848).
  • Class of 2004, led by gift chairs Kimberly Aber and Megan Hauck, and planning chair Jessica Weaver, contributed its all-time highest Annual Fund total ($11,861 from a previous high of $9,435).
  • Three reunion classes held the top spots for highest Annual Fund totals among all alumni classes: 1959, 1979 and 1984.

At the annual Alumni Association meeting held during Reunion Weekend, Annual Fund Chairman George Baker ’74 presented Aron Ain ’79, Montgomery Pooley ’84 and Amy Merin ’89 with Chairman’s Awards for their outstanding leadership in their classes’ gift efforts.  The College is deeply indebted to its reunion chairs and more than 200 additional volunteers from 1944 to 2004 who made Reunions ’09 and the 2008-09 reunion gift occasions to celebrate.

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