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A New Standard for Generosity

Senior Class Gift breaks participation record, Annual Fund at all-time high

"Four years here at Dartmouth is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to someone," wrote Amy Linn '07 on the Class of 2007's Senior Class Gift (SCG) Web site. Put up to inspire and-yes-apply a bit of peer pressure to their fellow '07s, the site quickly became a virtual gathering place where students looked back on their Dartmouth educations and contemplated the rest of their lives. As more voices joined the online conversation, gratitude, generosity, and a commitment to keep Dartmouth strong for future generations of students were the themes that emerged. "I hope everyone will think back on what their Dartmouth experience has given them, and try to give a little bit back to those who come after us," concluded Linn. (Visit the Web site to read what other '07s had to say.)

President James Wright with 2007 Senior Class Gift Interns
President James Wright with 2007 Senior Class Gift Interns (from left) Troy Stewart, Shala Byers, and Amy Rolfvondenbaumen. The interns led a team of 33 volunteers that helped the Class of 2007 set a participation record of 80 percent. The Dartmouth College Fund also set a record in 2007 by raising $39.1 million in unrestricted gifts, a 27 percent increase over last year's total of $30.7 million. (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

The peer pressure paid off, so to speak, since by Commencement in June, 80 percent of the Class of 2007 had made donations to support the SCG, breaking the 73 percent participation record held by the Class of 2006. Eleven Coed, Fraternity, and Sorority organizations boasted 100 percent participation, and every member of the Senior Executive Committee, the leadership of the class, participated.

The students raised a total $15,145, just shy of last year's SCG total, but gifts from parents and friends brought that number up to $23,326. With an additional $80,000 from alumni challengers Barry MacLean '60, Thayer '61; Brad Evans '64; Peter Fahey '68, Thayer '70; Ed Haldeman '70; and Karen Francis '84, the total amount raised was $108,407. All money raised by the SCG goes toward financial aid.

"The Class of 2007 has truly shown its spirit with this achievement," says President James Wright. "I'm very proud of the students' support of Dartmouth. The College is also grateful for the generosity of the alumni who encouraged the students with their challenge."

For the second straight year, Dartmouth inspired generous donors to give back, as so many of the '07s did, to the College that played such a key role in their lives and the lives of their families. Representing strong support for the goals of the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, College and graduate school alumni, as well as other friends, donated $159.1 million in fiscal year 2006-07, keeping pace with last year's record of $160.3 million.

Generosity came from all quarters. Nearly 41,000 alumni, parents, friends, foundations, and corporations made contributions to help fund Dartmouth's most important priorities: admitting talented students regardless of their financial circumstances, providing an intimate learning environment based on close student-faculty interaction and collaboration across disciplines, and advancing facilities projects that sustain a sense of place and community.

The Dartmouth College Fund (DCF) enjoyed a donor participation rate of 51 percent, raising a record $39.1 million in unrestricted gifts, a 27 percent increase over the $30.7 million raised last year. Contributions to the DCF account for approximately one out of every ten dollars in Dartmouth's annual budget and give the College the resources to act on new initiatives and enhance student services throughout the year. Gifts to the DCF support academics and need-blind admissions, underwrite athletics, and sustain a variety of programs-from First-Year Trips to foreign study-that benefit every student.

The DCF total includes the Parents and Grandparents Fund, which raised nearly $2.5 million in unrestricted gifts from 1,839 families—a 60 percent increase in the amount raised last year and a 21 percent increase in donors. Bequests and trusts accounted for $24 million of the year's total, a 62 percent increase over the previous year. Investment from foundations and corporations also totaled $24 million, the second-highest total ever from these sources.

"All of us at Dartmouth are awed by the ongoing commitment and generosity of our alumni, parents, and friends," says Wright. "Their investment in our strategic goals and priorities means the College will continue to provide the finest educational experience in the country. I'm particularly pleased that more and more younger alumni step up every year and continue Dartmouth's long-standing tradition of giving."

The Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, the largest fund-raising effort in Dartmouth history, had raised $877.3 million as of June 30. This is 67.2 percent of the $1.3 billion goal, realized over 66.7 percent of the campaign time line. Through the campaign the College is seeking investment in four initiatives: to advance leading-edge teaching and scholarship, to enhance residential and campus life, to more fully endow its financial aid program, and to raise unrestricted dollars. The campaign is institution-wide, embracing Dartmouth's undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts and sciences and its three professional schools—Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering, and Dartmouth Medical School.

"Several thousand alumni and parent volunteers made these results possible," says Carrie Pelzel, vice president for Development. "Led by our campaign co-chairs Brad Evans '64 and Peter Fahey '68, Thayer '70, these men and women demonstrate the power of volunteerism and the deep commitment they have to Dartmouth."

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Last Updated: 5/30/08