When the fiscal year kicked off in July 2020, faculty and staff on campus were working toward a singular goal — bringing students back to campus for the fall semester in the midst of a pandemic that had sent them home the previous March for remote instruction. In addition to the funds necessary to support student financial aid, faculty teaching, and other typical operating expenses, investments also would need to be made in COVID testing, quarantine housing, PPE, and outdoor canopies.
Watch for more information about “Hamilton 24/7” — 24 hours of giving to take place on Oct. 7 in conjunction with Fallcoming/Family Weekend. Plans are in the works to capture the excitement of this annual tradition.
As they have done throughout the decades, alumni, parents, employees, students, and friends came to the aid of the College. When the books closed on June 30, 2021, $7.23 million had been raised for the 2020-21 Hamilton Fund, surpassing the $7.2 million goal. Nearly 39% of alumni contributed.
“Unlike endowment or capital gifts, 100% of the Hamilton Fund goes to the current operating budget to support the education and overall experience of students on campus right now,” said Kimberly Stewart Butler ’88, who recently returned to her alma mater as director of annual giving. “Donors helped the College respond to the pandemic by providing financial resources that allowed Hamilton to be agile and take the steps necessary to remain safe and open.”
Leading the way were alumni celebrating reunions (those with class years ending in 1 or 6), with 42% participating. The Class of 1971 was at the forefront making gifts in honor of the College and their 50th reunion.
More than 100 alumni joined the Chapel Bell Society, demonstrating their support to Hamilton with a recurring monthly gift. There are now 895 alumni and 177 parents and friends who’ve signed on to make sure they are always counted in the Hamilton Fund — and to receive the ever-popular incentive of Hamilton or Kirkland socks or a unique Hamilton collectible.
Unlike endowment or capital gifts, 100% of the Hamilton Fund goes to the current operating budget to support the education and overall experience of students right now.
“While most people choose to give to the general Hamilton Fund, many donors also choose to direct their gift to specific areas that resonate with them,” Butler said. “Some of the most popular are financial aid and newer categories like DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives and SEAS (the Student Emergency Aid Society). For 2022, we’re adding the option for people to direct their gift to Hamilton’s sustainability efforts.”
All told, the Because Hamilton campaign, of which the Hamilton Fund is a part, exceeded $330 million by the end of 2020-21, bringing it more than 80% of the way to its $400 million goal with two years remaining.