Reflecting and Refocusing for the Home Stretch
by Don Hasseltine, vice president for advancement
April 1, 2010
The First in America: Fulfilling Our Destiny capital campaign continues to move forward at a good pace, reaching $139 million as of April, or 93 percent of our $150-million goal. With just 14 months remaining, it seems appropriate to reflect and refocus for the last stretch of the campaign. The generosity and support that has accumulated since the campaign kicked off in fall 2006 is truly remarkable and symbolic of an institution on the rise. Here are some campaign highlights by the numbers:
- 135 first-time major donors ($25,000 or more)
- 20 gifts of $1 million or more
- 89 percent faculty/staff participation
- 2009 senior-class gift participation rate of 90 percent
- $53 million from current and former board members
- 17,600 gifts from alumni, parents and friends.
The power of this giving, in terms of numbers of donors and dollars, has brought tremendous confidence and change to the college community, which is reflected in some of the more tangible results. For example:
- 70 new endowed scholarships that provide access and opportunity
- 16 endowed faculty chairs to bring new knowledge and support a low student/faculty ratio
- a state-of-the-art science complex with 75,000 square feet, providing optimum space for learning and research
- a renovation of Biddle Field that added lights, a new turf field and a new track for our community
- a $20-million investment in current operations to provide enhancements to programs, new initiatives and projects
- and a $76-million boost to the endowment that gives the college financial strength and flexibility.
Reciting this broad sweep of numbers, however, doesn’t reflect the enthusiasm and commitment shown by our donors to this campaign. Individual donor stories are what bring to life the impact and the personal commitment of so many.
Examples include an alumna from the 1990s who decided to use her inheritance to fund a scholarship gift rather than to buy a new car; the donor from the 1950s who has provided access and opportunity to more than 60 students in the last five years; the family that decided science was the way to honor a pioneer who helped develop the mass production of penicillin—and 17,000 other such stories.
This campaign has transformed lives and opened up new, unimagined possibilities for our college. The pending completion, therefore, becomes less an end than a milestone moment when Dickinson takes its rightful place among the very best colleges in the country and sheds its last competitive disadvantage—the ability to raise significant private support.
Reaching the campaign goal is just one step along the path toward financial robust-ness and resource development for Dickinson. We cannot forget we are competing for students and faculty with colleges and universities that have endowments two and three times the size of ours. Sustaining our competitiveness now and into the future requires a continuing influx of significant private support.
Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, John Dickinson and James Madison invested their personal fortunes in our college to advance the leadership for a fledgling yet promising nation. We now have our moment to leave the college better than we found it. I hope you will join us—by supporting the annual fund, making a major gift or placing Dickinson in your estate plans—in concluding the First in America: Fulfilling Our Destiny campaign in June 2011 with great momentum and success.