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Because Hamilton [Leaves a Legacy]

“I’ve always felt confident my money was being put to good use.” — John Hadity ’83

When Joel Johnson ’65, P’93 was chair of the Trustee Committee on Budget and Finance he referred to the income earned from the endowment and the revenue provided by the Hamilton Annual Fund as “legacy support.” It’s an apt description.

Generations of alumni, grateful for the role Hamilton played in their future success and happiness, have established a culture of philanthropy through their loyal and generous support of the College. Hamilton graduates provide for their alma mater at a rate that is among the top 1 percent of all American colleges and universities. Parents and friends have been equally as benevolent. Even seniors recognize the importance of giving back, with more than 90 percent in a typical class supporting the Senior Gift campaign.

Legacy support has an enormous impact on the student experience at Hamilton. Income earned from the endowment represents 22 percent of the College’s operating revenues, and gifts to the Hamilton Annual Fund – more than $7 million from 10,000 donors each year – represent another 4 percent of the budget. Most of the College’s alumni, parents, and friends will participate in this campaign through the Hamilton Fund. Indeed, during the duration of the campaign, the Hamilton Fund will represent $70 million, or 17.5 percent of the total contributed to Because Hamilton.

Chart - Alumni Support vs. peers
With the exception of 2012 when Hamilton received an exceptionally large gift, the College generally receives less support per student than its peers each year.

Why participate? Because Hamilton provides the academic and educational experiences that prepare students to be the future leaders and changemakers in their careers and in the communities desperate for the skills they possess. A contribution to the Hamilton Fund is an investment in the graduates who will shape the future, whether they become teachers, business leaders, public servants, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, or pursue any of a number of other careers. Hamilton students are taught to lead and to make a difference.

In recent years, alumni, parents, and friends began directing gifts of any size to one of six priority areas:

  • Scholarship Aid: to sustain the commitment to need-blind admission
  • Academic Programs: to support the heart of Hamilton’s mission — teaching and learning in the liberal arts tradition
  • Career Center: to help students find their futures
  • Athletics: to strengthen the College’s “athletics for all” philosophy — at the varsity, club, or intramural level, or basic fitness and wellness
  • Arts: to perpetuate the full range of performances, readings, and exhibitions, as well as the practice of studio art
  • Where Need is Greatest: to allow Hamilton to capture sudden, unforeseen opportunities

Because Hamilton leaves a legacy, we invite you to participate in this important campaign to ensure our College continues preparing students to lead the world they will inherit.

Chart - Alumni Support
Approximately two-thirds of alumni supported Hamilton’s students and faculty through the Annual Fund at least once in a three-year period.

Contact Information


Ellen Rainey '87

Director of Major Gifts and Campaign Operations
315-859-4131 erainey@hamilton.edu