Senior Gift Committee Announces Class of 2008 Environmental Endowment Fund

Ned Gilliss '08 and Blythe Winchester '08
Ned Gilliss '08 and Blythe Winchester '08

The Class of 2008 Senior Gift Committee, meeting on Thursday, Sept. 27, revealed the winning idea for the senior gift campaign. The gift option that won by an impressive number of votes was the Class of 2008 environmental endowment fund. Presented by senior co-chairs Ned Gilliss and Blythe Winchester, the gift will be a yearly grant awarded to a Hamilton student or campus organization in order to fund a green project on campus or environmental research. The fund also will be accompanied by a planted tree and plaque to commemorate the '08 gift. Gilliss expressed confidence in the campaign's successful start, citing the high number of class participants in the gift survey and the strong support for the winning idea.

This year's gift committee will definitely have some big shoes to fill," said Winchester, referring to the success of the Class of 2007's senior gift campaign. Last year's graduating class set new Hamilton records for amount of money raised and class participation rates. More than 97 percent of the Class of 2007 contributed to their senior gift. Based on these impressive figures, this year's committee confidently plans to set its sights high.

During the gift presentation, President Joan Hinde Stewart also addressed the group of seniors, alumni, faculty and guests. She encouraged the current seniors to consider not only the skills and knowledge that they will carry with them when they graduate,  but also the legacy they will leave behind. "When each student leaves Hamilton," President Stewart stated, "a little part of their spirit remains on the Hill." She stressed that the senior gift is an important way for graduating students to acknowledge the invaluable skills they've gained from their Hamilton education, and to make a positive and lasting impression on the Hamilton community.

After her address, President Stewart introduced alumnus George Baker '74, whom she described as the "embodiment of love and loyalty to this institution." Baker spoke to the group about the importance of philanthropy. He is chairman of the Annual Fund and was recently elected to the Board of Trustees. Baker said that giving back to the College is one thing that all Hamilton alumni can share, and that every member of the Hamilton community has, in some way, benefited from the generosity of alumni. Hamilton ranks among the top U.S. institutions for percentages of alumni who contribute to their alma mater. Baker said that for the past 26 years, Hamilton has experienced annual alumni participation rates of 50 percent and higher. He claimed that by contributing to the senior gift campaign, seniors begin their own important habit of "personal philanthropy," and have the opportunity to make a donation that will go to a tangible purpose. 

The committee will announce the campaign's logo and slogan on October 12.

Contact Information

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