When Hamilton dedicated the $46.8 million Kevin and Karen Kennedy Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts as part of Fallcoming and Family Weekend in October, more than 3,000 alumni, parents and friends filled hotels, bed and breakfasts, and restaurants in Central New York.
Some visitors had to seek accommodations more than 30 miles away from the Hamilton campus because so many people returned for the weekend’s events. The situation repeats itself every May when 5,000 people attend Commencement.
Constructing new facilities and hosting celebratory weekends like the Kennedy Center dedication are two factors considered in a new economic impact study commissioned by the Albany-based Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) for its members.
According to the study, which was conducted by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) in Rochester, Hamilton’s estimated economic impact in the Mohawk Valley for 2012-13 totaled $307 million. The figure includes direct spending by the college for wages and benefits, instruction, and operating and maintaining the physical plant.
The CGR report estimated the college spent $10.8 million on construction and that spending by students and visitors totaled $17.6 million based on a statewide estimate. According to CGR, Hamilton employed 840 people and the economic activity generated by the college resulted in more than 900 additional jobs in the region.
“Hamilton College has a sizable economic impact in the Village of Clinton and the Mohawk Valley,” said Vice President for Administration and Finance Karen Leach. “In addition to the spending by our employees and visitors, the college strives to patronize local businesses and hire local contractors and laborers.”
New York’s independent colleges and universities contributed $74.3 billion to the state’s economy in 2013, according to the CGR report. The figure represents an increase of $11.1 billion (17.6%) since 2011. In addition, New York State’s independent colleges employ 190,500 people, an increase of nearly 10,000 (5%) since 2011.