As a longtime donor and HWS Trustee, Herbert J. McCooey ’76, P’04, P’09 has played a key role in driving strategic planning efforts to ensure the financial security of the Colleges. Now, as Annual Fund Chair, McCooey is providing senior leadership for the Colleges’ Annual Fund program, including his own Annual Fund gift which he hopes will serve as an example to others, creating momentum for sustained, annual giving.
“The annual fund is so important for student access and for the overall health of the Colleges,” says McCooey, a retired member of the New York Stock Exchange and managing director of Bear Wagner Specialist. “We have plenty of generous people who give to the Colleges and plenty of people who have expressed their love of the institution. Now we need to inspire everyone to make an annual gift so that we can increase our financial flexibility and make sure that we are providing an exceptional education. Higher percentages of alum donors also enhance our profile in the market, showing prospective students and their families that our alums care deeply about their alma mater.”
As Annual Fund Chair, McCooey serves as the Colleges’ primary proponent for annual giving, and particularly in these uncertain times, regarding the importance of unrestricted giving and participation, which provide the Colleges with the flexibility to react quickly to areas of immediate need. In addition to encouraging annual support from alums, parents and friends of the Colleges, McCooey is working with staff in the HWS Office of Advancement to set goals, assist with volunteer identification and recruitment, provide direction and recognition for volunteers, and serve as a spokesperson for annual fund initiatives. He will report on the status of annual giving programs at regular Board meetings.
McCooey’s first messages to alumni and alumnae have focused on sharing stories about the students who have benefitted from Annual Fund support. And those stories have resonated well: he recently received a hand-written note of kudos from Alta Essom Boyer ’36, William Smith’s oldest alumna, and a similar note of appreciation from Hobart alumnus, John Voigt ’04.
With the support of HWS Trustees and alums, McCooey is eager to engage more volunteers in spreading the message about the impact of Annual Fund gifts, which support the daily operations of the Colleges, sustaining the programs, people and ongoing stewardship that ensures the campus thrives.
“The Colleges were good to our family,” says McCooey, the first of now 10 members of his family to attend HWS. “I’ve led a fairly successful life and I attribute a portion of that to my time at the Colleges. There are a lot of worthy causes to back financially in this world, but I believe that supporting the work of the college you graduated from is —and should be — one of the priorities of your charitable giving.”
To make a gift to the Annual Fund please click here.