Trinity’s Six-Year Fundraising Effort Reaches $369 Million

Dual Campaigns Targeted Strategic Investments in Students, Faculty, Programs, and Facilities

​HARTFORD, Conn., August 8, 2012—Trinity College has announced the successful completion of a six-year effort to raise up to $375 million to advance the mission of the College, with a total of $369 million in contributions and donor commitments. From July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2012, Trinity conducted two parallel campaigns—the Cornerstone Campaign, for outright gifts with immediate impact, and the Legacy Campaign, to document and celebrate estate planning gift intentions. The Cornerstone Campaign raised a total of $281.1 million towards a $300 million goal and the Legacy Campaign realized new commitments of $87.9 million in bequest intentions and future gifts against a $75 million goal.

As with other fundraising campaigns around the nation, the challenges of the worst economic climate in decades led to mid-course adjustments in 2009. Trinity revised original goals for the Cornerstone and Legacy Campaigns—$350 million and $50 million, respectively—to updated goals of $300 million and $60 million. In 2011, the Legacy Campaign goal was extended to $75 million. Fundraising efforts for the campaigns were modified in the final two years to include greater emphasis on increasing financial aid resources, and on the long-term impact of documenting future gifts, particularly through 50th Reunion giving.

The overarching goals of the six-year effort were to enhance Trinity’s academic excellence, increase access to students of promise, and invigorate the campus. Specific objectives were designed around long-term goals defined in Trinity’s 2005 Cornerstone Plan, developed through a strategic planning process that included input from hundreds of faculty, staff, students, and ultimately Trinity’s Board of Trustees.

“Our donors have shown a level of support that is historic and will have an impact at Trinity for generations to come,” said Trinity President James F. Jones, Jr. “We have raised more than double the amount of Trinity’s last fundraising campaign.” The College’s previous campaign, which ended in 2001, raised $175 million.

“More than 88 percent of our alumni made Trinity a philanthropic priority during these campaigns, a testament to the exceptional loyalty and generosity of Trinity alumni,” said Jones.

Highlights of the six-year fundraising effort included:

  • More than 170 new endowed funds established, totaling $185.7 million in contributions, including more than 75 new scholarship funds and 14 new endowed faculty chairs/professorships
  • Significant campus improvements, including the $33-million restoration and renovation of the historic William Burges-designed Long Walk buildings; the Koeppel Community Sports Center; the Paul D. Assaiante Tennis Center; the Loberg Family Neuroscience Laboratory; and the Mather Quad redesign, which is under way, to be officially dedicated as the Gates Quad in the fall of 2012
  •  The establishment of hallmark programs, including the Center for Urban and Global Studies and the Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Substantial grant support from national foundations, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health, as well as from local foundations such as the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
  • 100 percent of Trinity Trustees having included Trinity in their estate plans
  • A senior class giving participation rate exceeding 90 percent for seven consecutive years

With its campaigns, Trinity invested in staffing and volunteers to raise new support in annual and capital gifts, and through a formalized program of gift planning. A key factor was the engagement of alumni and parents. “We saw the growing importance of peer-to-peer engagement,” said Jones. “We applaud the more than 500 Trinity volunteers who, with staff, reached out to over 24,000 donors. It is because of their collective efforts that we have enriched Trinity through scholarships, professorships, and support for our campus and operations.”

Jones noted that one of the most important areas of success was in achieving significant annual fund growth. “Today, our annual fund represents between eight and nine percent of Trinity’s operating budget—almost double its contribution a decade ago,” said Jones. In addition, he pointed to the College’s ability to make strategic faculty hires and invest in other ways to further Trinity’s academic excellence, due to the growth in both annual and endowment support.

Jones praised the leadership of Paul E. Raether ’68, P’93, ’96, ’01, chairman of Trinity’s Board of Trustees; Ronald A. Joyce, recently retired vice president for College Advancement; the three alumni who co-chaired the Cornerstone Campaign—E. Thayer Bigelow, Jr. ’65, P’99, ’04, ’10, George Kellner ’64, and Cornelia Parsons Thornburgh ’80; as well as the chairman of the Legacy Campaign, Raymond Joslin ’58, and Legacy Campaign vice-chairs Rodney Day ’62, P’85 and Joanne Johnson ’79.

Projects that will be the focus of Trinity’s continued fundraising for the next three years, said Jones, are:

  • Increased support for financial aid—in addition to financial aid commitments achieved through the Cornerstone and Legacy Campaigns, Trinity’s goal is to raise additional restricted funds for continued investment in scholarship resources so that the most talented students have access to a Trinity education
  • The proposed $5-million music rehearsal and performance center, for which $3 million has been raised to date
  • The proposed $3.5-million neurosciences wing, for which $2 million has been raised so far
  • Further investment in Trinity athletics—in addition to the $7.1 million in athletic endowments raised through the Cornerstone Campaign, Trinity aims to raise an additional $2.9 million
  • Career development programs that prepare Trinity students and graduates to compete for top-tier employment and graduate school opportunities—an area that emerged as a key fundraising priority during the last two years of the Cornerstone Campaign. With $1.5 million raised, Trinity’s present goal is to raise an additional $8.5 million in support for this priority.