CASE, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, announced today that “Because Hamilton,” the video produced to kick-off the College’s capital campaign, won this year’s Circle of Excellence Gold Award for the “video: fundraising – long videos” category. 

The Circle of Excellence Awards recognize outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising, and marketing and are open to professionals working at member colleges, universities, independent schools, and their affiliated nonprofits around the world.

In an email announcing the award, CASE president and CEO Sue Cunningham wrote, “You and your colleagues work tirelessly to help provide educational opportunities that are essential in transforming lives and society. On behalf of everyone at CASE, thank you for doing this most important work.”


Because Hamilton is a $400 million effort to fulfill the promise represented in the students we attract and the promises we make to those students during their search for a life-altering college education.

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In 2019, CASE received 2,856 entries for consideration in 100 categories by 611 member higher education institutions, independent schools, and nonprofits from 20 countries. 

Winners were selected based on a number of factors, including overall quality, innovation, use of resources, and the impact on the institution or its external and internal communities, such as alumni, parents, students, and faculty and staff. CASE assembles expert judging panels made up of professionals inside and outside of educational advancement.

In selecting Hamilton’s video, the judges wrote, “‘Because Hamilton’ set out to share how a Hamilton education prepares graduates for lives of meaning, purpose, and active citizenship. This campaign video accomplished that with a strong concept of tying the student experience to the alumni experience by using a ‘flashback’ storytelling feature. Through this technique, the viewer learns how the specific alumni featured were well prepared for their lives post-graduation because of the education they received at Hamilton. The stories were inspiring and connected to the College’s mission. There was a level of authenticity that came across with each unique storyteller and a sense of pride that will likely translate to alumni and non-alumni viewers alike.”

“Alumni who participated in focus groups told us they wanted a video that was pride-filling, emotional and more externally focused; they did not want a video that focused directly on the specific giving categories for the campaign,” wrote Associate Vice President of Communications Michael Debraggio when submitting the video for consideration. “As a result, the new campaign video focuses our audience on the product of a Hamilton education — what our alumni do and accomplish ‘Because Hamilton.’”

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