“We cannot back down in the face of a challenging economy; we must move forward with purpose and confidence.” Following these words from David H. Deming ’75, chair of the Board of Trustees of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the Board unanimously voted to increase the goal of its fundraising effort, Campaign for the Colleges, from $160 million to $200 million, making it the largest and most comprehensive effort of its kind in the Colleges’ history.
Campaign for the Colleges, which now stands at $162 million, was publicly launched three years ago to raise funds in support of the objectives of the Colleges’ strategic plan – HWS 2010. The results have been impressive – new facilities, scholarships and professorships, as well as expanded programs, initiatives and operating support. But with some Campaign objectives as yet unrealized and with students and families facing financial aid concerns in the face of the economic recession, the Board opted to extend the reach and scope of the campaign.
“I appreciate the Board’s decision to increase the goal,” says President Mark D. Gearan. “I believe it signals their confidence in the Hobart and William Smith family and our ability to enjoy even greater success in these economic times.”
Remaining Campaign aspirations include securing endowed funds to strengthen the Colleges’ financial base including increased financial aid and programmatic support; increased and sustained commitment to the Annual Fund which supports the operating budget; and the completion of several facilities needs, most notably the Colleges’ single-largest capital project – the creation of academic and performance space for theatre, dance and music.
The total Campaign dollars raised to date is from a record number of donors, with unprecedented levels of giving from the Colleges’ alumni, alumnae, parents and friends. There have been more than 19,700 individual gifts to the campaign so far. Twenty-six donors have made gifts of $1 million or more, and another 25 have given at least $500,000. The vast majority of gifts to the Campaign are under $50,000, with the Annual Fund as the most popular avenue for participation in the Campaign.
“When we shaped Campaign for the Colleges, we hoped our vision for the future of Hobart and William Smith would be shared by all members of the Colleges’ community,” explains Deming. “That has certainly been the case. The momentum behind this fundraising initiative has been tremendous and everyone here at the Colleges, from faculty to students to staff, has benefited from this generosity.”
“We are very grateful to alumni and alumnae, parents and friends,” says Gearan. “Their extraordinary generosity has enabled us to make a real difference in the lives of students and in the life of HWS. This is a more vibrant and student-engaged institution as a result of Campaign for the Colleges.”