Dear fellow Kirkland alumnae,
We are delighted to report to you that our Kirkland momentum continues to be displayed on campus as well as within our Kirkland Community.
Over Volunteer Weekend, when many alumni are on the Hill, we held a very successful series of programs called, "40 Years of Educating Women on the Hill." There were panel discussions on "The Four Decades" and "The Kirkland Generation," as well as an open discussion on the current status of the Kirkland Endowment. In addition, a questionnaire for Hamilton contemporaries and Kirkland women was developed for The Kirkland Generation program, and the very interesting answers to these open-ended questions are available online.
The Archives, Media and Publications (AMP) Subcommittee (led by Judy Silverstein Gray K'78 and Jennie Morris K'72) has recently applied for its first grant from the Schlesinger Library at Harvard, to support its efforts in completing the Oral History of Kirkland, supplementing interviews which were conducted in 1978 and 1992. This application was supported by a letter from Meredith Harper Bonham (Executive Assistant to Hamilton President Joan Hinde Stewart, as well as Secretary to the Hamilton Board of Trustees), who wrote a graduate dissertation at Harvard on the topic of Kirkland College.
In addition, the AMP Subcommittee is working with Professor Maurice Isserman, to ensure that the history of Kirkland is recorded accurately, in anticipation of his updating of the official Hamilton history for Hamilton's bicentennial in 2012.
The Mentoring Subcommittee continues to provide opportunities and support for alumnae to meet and mentor Hamilton students. A number of Kirkland mentors participated in mentoring panels held at Hamilton over Volunteer Weekend, and Susie Hartman K'74 is collaborating with the Career Center to grow this initiative.
In early January, the Committee made a formal request of the Hamilton Board of Trustees, for a review of the operations and assets of the Kirkland Endowment. We have since formed a subcommittee to meet with the Hamilton administration and members of the Kirkland Endowment Advisory Committee (administered by a faculty member and comprised of current students and Kirkland and Hamilton alumnae), to explore ways in which our endowment might be used for bold and impactful purposes, while increasing the transparency of its workings. Our aim is to ensure that the Kirkland Legacy will live on at Hamilton in a visible and vibrant way, in perpetuity.
We have participated in numerous events on the Hill to increase our visibility with the students. Our aim is not only to bolster Kirkland's presence, but to provide support for students in ways other than career mentoring. Our relationships with the women students are growing, and we are willing and available listeners and facilitators for students who bring issues to our attention.
The Executive Committee of the Alumni Council reviewed our request for increased flexibility in filling our 14 Kirkland seats on the Council, and this arrangement was formally approved by a vote of the full Alumni Council over Volunteer Weekend. While we hope to have representation from a range of the classes, we are not bound to filling our seats from alumnae in specific class years (i.e., no longer having two seats specifically for each Kirkland class).
To implement this new arrangement, we will soon begin a nomination process seeking seven alumnae who would like to be liaisons between the Kirkland alumnae body and Hamilton College. We will follow up with more detail about the volunteer responsibilities and next steps, all with an eye toward having full Kirkland representation at the Alumni Council meetings over Fallcoming, October 2-4, 2009. We urge you to give the information careful consideration, and nominate yourself or others as you deem appropriate. More to follow soon.
We are all feeling the impact the economic downturn, and Hamilton is no exception. The Financial Aid office is fielding many calls for review of current aid packages, as well as numerous requests for first time aid. Over 50% of the students receive financial aid, and the average student package is $32,000. The equivalent of one dollar out of four of the $24.4 million financial aid budget comes from the Annual Fund.
We know that many are reviewing their giving priorities, and we hope that you will consider making a gift to the 2008-09 Annual Fund and/or to one of the Kirkland Giving Initiatives. We are continually struck by the caliber of the students on the Hill, and the gratitude they freely express for the financial support they receive in order to be able to study at Hamilton. We hope that you will join us in helping to ensure that Hamilton can continue to provide this greatly deserved aid. (Giving before April 30 will also help Hamilton in her Challenge to Colgate. Please give today if you can!.)
We will be in touch again this spring; we look forward to the continuing Kirkland conversation.
Your Kirkland Gift Chairs and Alumni Council representatives,
Connie Miner K'74
Tami J. Aisenson K'75 P'12
Annie Karl Halvorsen K'76 P'09
Susan Skerritt K'77 P'11
Judy Silverstein Gray K'78
Penny Watras Dana K'78