Buoyed by the excitement of returning to campus for the One Hill of a Party reunion celebration and a trustee challenge, alumni, parents, and friends of the College rallied to support the Hamilton Fund like never before. The 2021-22 fund year closed at $7.81 million, exceeding its goal by 8.5 percent — or more than $600,000. 

This marked the largest dollar total ever for Hamilton’s annual giving effort with 10,601 donors, including 7,197 alumni (nearly 39%), contributing. Of the Hamilton Fund total, $788,846 came from parents. Overall, 58 percent of donors increased their gift amounts. THANK YOU!

“As we head into the last stretch of the Because Hamilton capital campaign, it’s more important than ever to acknowledge the importance of the Hamilton Fund — 100% of which goes to supporting students right now,” said Kimberly Stewart Butler ’88, director of annual giving. “Annual giving ensures that the everyday educational needs of students and faculty are met and gives us the flexibility to respond nimbly and immediately when unforeseen challenges arise.

"The Hamilton Fund allows us to implement new strategic initiatives today while building endowment support for perpetuity,” she added.

In total, the Hamilton Fund represents about $70 million of the $400 million Because Hamilton campaign goal. The campaign, which kicked off in 2018, is set to conclude on June 30, 2023. Gifts and pledges currently total $365 million.

Donors to the 2021-22 Hamilton Fund were motivated by the strong momentum of June’s blowout reunion celebration. Three reunion cycles came together on campus after the pandemic forced the cancellation of in-person gatherings in 2020 and 2021. In particular, the Class of 1971 posted 82% participation — a full 14 points higher than any other class — and the Class of 2016 brought in gifts from 255 donors, the most from any class.

Also key to the fund’s success was the Spring Board Challenge where members of Hamilton’s Board of Trustees created a $400,000 pool to match increased gifts. All of those dollars were claimed and then some, with contributions to the effort totaling over $1.83 million.

In addition to reunion classes, the Class of 2022 delivered a stellar performance in its Senior Gift campaign. “While many of our peer schools cancelled their senior gift programs this year in response to COVID, Hamilton’s senior class was undaunted and rallied together to show their support for the College” Butler said. “By year end, 56% percent of the Class of 2022 made a gift to what made Hamilton special for them. For most, that was an unrestricted gift to the College, but it also included significant support for programs such as financial aid, academic programs, DEI efforts, choir, and athletics.”

Finally, success of the Hamilton Fund would not be possible without dedicated volunteers. “Our Alumni Council volunteers, particularly our Class Leadership Committee members, were tremendous advocates for the Hamilton Fund this year, and we couldn’t have done this without them,” Butler said.

Parker Riehle ā€™88
Parker Riehle ’88

Volunteers were particularly strong advocates for the Chapel Bell Society, whose members support Hamilton by setting up automatic monthly recurring gifts. After Parker Riehle ’88, who chairs the class leadership committee of the Alumni Council, posted a vacation picture of himself on Facebook wearing a T-shirt that was a gift to Chapel Bell members, the post went viral among the Hamilton community. It led to others doing the same, particularly around Give Day, and was one reason why participation in the society jumped from 895 alumni in 2020-21 to 1,038 in 2021-22. Overall, there are now 1,269 Chapel Bell Society members.

Honor Roll of Donors

Support from Hamilton’s alumni, parents and friends is gratefully acknowledged.

“I’m always amazed at how committed our alumni are to the tradition of supporting Hamilton,” Butler said. “Each year without fail they give of their time and resources to say ‘thank you’ for the incredible education they received at Hamilton and lasting friendships they made on College Hill. And they want to ensure that those same opportunities are available to the next generation.”

The 2022-23 Hamilton Fund is Underway!

Watch for information coming soon about a Give Day on Sept. 22 in conjunction with Fallcoming/Family Weekend. Highlights will include regional events and a decades participation challenge!

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