Hamilton College has closed its fund-raisingyear with a record-breaking effort.

Contributions to the college during the 12 months ending June 30, 1997,totaled $23,285,754. The college's previous record was $13,527,000 in 1986-87.A year ago, in 1995-96, Hamilton received gifts totaling $12,942,039.

Hamilton College President Eugene M. Tobin said alumni, parents and friends ofthe college give because they want to help students and maintain Hamilton'sleadership position in higher education.

"From scholarship aid and funding for travel to national conferences, to newcomputer equipment and money for student programming activities, these giftshave a major impact on the quality education received by each Hamiltonstudent," Tobin said. "A Hamilton education is both attainable and worthy ofthe investment families make because of the special opportunities we canprovide students."

In addition to several multimillion dollar gifts to the college during thepreceding year, Tobin said he also was gratified that Hamilton's Annual Fundachieved its own record: $3,185,000. Nearly 7,000 Hamilton graduates -- 53.4percent of the college's alumni body -- made unrestricted gifts to the AnnualFund, which ranks Hamilton among the top 10 of all U.S. colleges in thepercentage of alumni who support their alma mater.

"Hamilton is fortunate to have alumni who feel so passionately about theireducational experience," Tobin said. "Their generosity enables us to providewhat is arguably the nation's finest liberal arts education."

Other fund-raising highlights for the recently completed fiscal year includeda 96 percent participation rate for the Class of 1997's Senior Gift Campaignand more than 1,000 parent donors for the third consecutive year.

"Since these are the people most closely tied to the educational program atthe college, it is gratifying to see the level of voluntary support theyprovide Hamilton," Tobin said.

Gifts to Hamilton have exceeded $10 million in each of the past five years."Just a few years ago, we were pleased to record $10 million in gifts to thecollege. Now, to break the college's previous fund-raising record by nearly $10million suggests how far we've come in a very short period of time," Tobinsaid.

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