HARTFORD, Conn., July 14, 2010—Spurred by the largest gift challenge in Trinity’s 187 years, the College scored both a transformative contribution for new scholarships and recorded the largest number of alumni donors in the school’s history.
An anonymous donor offered Trinity an “all-or-nothing” challenge. That donor promised to provide an immediate $5 million gift, if Trinity achieved a gift participation rate of 55 percent or higher among its 20,000 living alumni. To add significant risk to that challenge, the donor was clear that anything less than 55 percent participation would not qualify for this extraordinary gift.
In a year-long effort that mobilized over 400 alumni volunteers, countless faculty and staff outreaches, and even calls to alumni from nationally syndicated columnist George F. Will, Class of ’62, and Robin L. Sheppard, associate director of athletics, a 30-year veteran at Trinity, the College’s alumni responded in rousing fashion. Over 11,000 alumni contributed, playing a major role in achieving a record $9 million in gifts to Trinity’s Annual Fund. Total gifts from all alumni, parents, friends, and organizations topped $28 million for the latest fiscal year.
“This is an historic moment for Trinity,” said Trinity President James F. Jones, Jr. “We have secured a $5 million gift to endow more scholarship support at Trinity. That means that at least 10 more students per year can benefit from Trinity’s educational experience. Imagine the impact that will have on these young men and women, and the impact they will have on the world they will help lead. I am exceedingly proud of our alumni and their passionate commitment to this College and our students.”
Nationwide, there has been a measurable decline in alumni participation. Trinity’s rate of 55.34 percent, already the highest alumni engagement rate among Connecticut institutions of higher education, is projected to be among the top 10 highest rates among the more than 3,000 two- and four-year colleges and universities across the country.