Bicentennial Initiatives

For more information:


1812 Leadership Circle: The 1812 Leadership Circle recognizes alumni, parents and friends who support the Annual Fund at a leadership level of $2,500 or more.

Alumni Participation Rate:
The percentage of alumni who contribute in a given year represents the College’s participation rate and is used as a proxy for alumni satisfaction. For 30 consecutive years, more than half of all Hamilton alumni have participated in the Annual Fund, a distinction shared by fewer than a dozen colleges nationwide.

Annual Fund: The Annual Fund is the most important source of discretionary revenue for Hamilton, providing resources to those areas where the need is greatest. The Hamilton College Annual Fund turns individual gifts of all sizes into a collective pool of support for the College’s highest priorities and most important initiatives. Most alumni will be a part of Bicentennial Initiatives through their participation in the Annual Fund.

Capital Gift: A significant donation for a construction project is classified as a capital gift.

Class Agent: A class agent volunteers to ask classmates for contributions to the Annual Fund.

Class Gift Chair: A class gift chair volunteers to coordinate the Annual Fund campaign with classmates.

Demonstrated Need: A formula that determines the amount of financial assistance a student will require to attend a particular college. The formula is based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and considers student and parent federal tax and W2 forms.

Endowment: Endowed funds are those contributions designated by the donor toward a specific College priority. The funds are invested to provide income in perpetuity. Hamilton currently has more than 900 endowed funds, which pay for more than a fifth of the College’s operating budget and most of the financial aid it offers to students. Collectively, these funds are referred to as the College’s endowment.

Financial Aid: Individually prepared packages of scholarships, loans and campus jobs are combined to bridge the gap between the cost of a Hamilton education and what students are able to pay. The average financial aid package for a Hamilton student receiving financial aid in 2010-11 was $34,750.

Gift Annuities: In exchange for gifts of cash or marketable securities to Hamilton, the College pays the donor a specific annuity in quarterly installments for life.

GOLD: The acronym for Graduates of the Last Decade is GOLD, a term coined by Hamilton in the early 1980s. Approximately 26 percent of Hamilton alumni are members of the GOLD Group, making this an especially important constituency for the College’s future.

Joel Bristol Associates: Donors who have made provisions for Hamilton through their estate plans or planned gifts are designated as Joel Bristol Associates. There are currently more than 500 active alumni, parents and friends who have made such provisions for Hamilton.

Matching Gifts: Many companies match the charitable giving of their employees up to a certain amount. Donors can often double (and in some cases triple) their gifts to Hamilton by checking to see if their company offers a matching gift program.

Need-Blind: A college is said to be need-blind in admission if it does not consider an applicant’s demonstrated financial need when deciding whether or not to accept that student. Effective with the Class of 2014, Hamilton is need-blind for domestic first-year students admitted for the fall.

Planned Gift: At Hamilton we describe a planned gift as a contribution made with the right property, at the most opportune time, in the most advantageous form for maximum benefit to the College and the donor. Planned gifts may be outright, in trust, by will or in some combination.

Pledge: A pledge is a formal intent to contribute to a campaign or the Annual Fund during a defined period of time.

Restricted Gift: Gifts to the College that are designated by the donor for a specific purpose are said to be restricted gifts.

Scholarship: Financial aid awarded to a student that does not have to be repaid is called a scholarship. Hamilton awarded more than $26 million in scholarship aid in 2010-11.

Unrestricted Gift: An unrestricted gift is a donation to the College without stipulation for how the funds will be spent. All gifts to the College’s Annual Fund are unrestricted.