|College Supporters Surpass Annual Fund Goal With Alumni Leading the Nation in Donor Percentage
July 26, 2010
Contact: Bill Giduz
Davidson alumni, parents and friends have demonstrated their belief in the importance of the college and its mission through record contributions to the college's Annual Fund.
In closing the books recently on the 2009-10 fiscal year, Davidson fundraisers announced Annual Fund contributions of $10.776 million. Despite the gloomy national economy, that substantially surpassed the goal of $9.25 million, and set a new record for total gifts to the Annual Fund.
Moreover, a record 10,055 of Davidson's 16,497 active alumni were donors, giving Davidson a 61 percent participation rate -- the highest of any college or university in the nation this year. It also marks the eighth year in a row of contributions by 60 or more percent of alumni.
This year's contributions included gifts to the Annual Fund by an extraordinary 99% of the members of the recently graduated Class of 2010, and record-setting gifts of nearly $1.2 million from parents of current students and alumni.
Davidson College President Tom Ross noted, "The success of the College's Annual Fund campaign is remarkable given the economic times. To break 60 percent participation by our alumni for the eighth consecutive year, set a record with more than 10,000 individual gifts, and to raise more than $10 million for our operating budget and scholarships is a testament to the strong loyalty and commitment by our alumni, parents, faculty, staff and students. It's also evidence of the dedication and hard work of our talented staff. I could not be more proud of the Davidson family."
Annual Fund director Maria Tardugno Aldrich said, "This was certainly a challenging year because of the economy, but great volunteer leadership ensured our success."
The 2009-10 Annual Fund chairs were Hayes '86 and Susan Taylor Woollen '86. John Laughlin '85 was vice chair. The parent campaign was chaired by Lise and Brandon Sweitzer, with Cynnie and Tom Ogden as vice chairs. Linnea Buttermore '10 and John Edwards '10 led the Senior Class gift campaign. Aldrich also thanked the 170 Annual Fund volunteer class chairs, who represented all graduated classes. "We couldn't have reached our goals without them," she said.
Aldrich praised the many student callers who were involved throughout the campaign, and noted that their late-year calls to alumni were crucial in meeting the participation goal. "We had one student caller who would remind fence-sitters, ‘Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat!' and that nearly always convinced them to give something. Every gift was important for our participation goal, and student callers found some very creative ways to inspire alumni."
Gifts to the Annual Fund support the current student experience, providing necessary resources to an exceptional academic community, an outstanding Division I athletics program and other important initiatives. Contributions also support The Davidson Trust-the college's commitment to meet the financial need of all students with only grants and campus employment, eliminating loans and allowing them to graduate debt-free. Annual Fund donors this year designated almost half of their giving -- $5.3 million -- to The Davidson Trust.
In addition to the Annual Fund success, overall giving to Davidson last year set a record as well. The college recorded $55.3 million in cash and commitments for the fiscal year -- more than double the amount of the previous year and the highest ever in the college's history.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,800 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.