The Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience
The College announced the largest fund-raising effort in its history in November 2004. The Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience’s goal of $1.3 billion was aggressive given the size of our alumni/ae body and the state of the economy at the time we began fund-raising, but the Board and I felt confident that the priorities identified for the Campaign were imperative to increase faculty resources, expand financial aid, and enrich residential and campus life. Given the state of the economy now, the goal is even more ambitious—and our success to date even more essential to our mission.
Alumni/ae, parents, and friends have been extraordinarily generous. The College has received several record-breaking gifts from individuals, and many reunion classes have set new records for both dollars raised and participation. In 2007–08, we set a new record for cash gifts, raising $168 million.
I am also grateful for our many unsung philanthropic heroes. The number of alumni/ae and others who have not only sustained their giving but also have stretched to increase their gifts impresses me. Although their names are not etched on any buildings, they serve as the pillars of this institution, and we could not meet our goals without their help. Gifts to the Dartmouth College Fund have increased, and our participation rate now stands among the highest in our peer group. An impressive 67 percent of all alumni/ae have made gifts to the current Campaign. It is also encouraging to see how our youngest alumni/ae and seniors have embraced philanthropy to the College: 92.5 percent of the Class of 2008 contributed to the Senior Class Gift.
Carrie Pelzel, vice president of Development, and the Campaign Executive Committee have done an excellent job of leading our campaign efforts. As of November 2008, the Campaign has reached $1.12 billion. The gifts received to date have had a tremendous impact on the work of faculty and students. As I write, with each day’s headlines announcing somber economic news, it is impossible to predict how our goal might be affected. But the gifts thus far have secured Dartmouth’s educational excellence for this and future generations.