Wheaton’s supporters pushed annual giving to the college to new heights during the 2010–2011 school year. Alumnae/i, parents and friends gave $4,104,865 to the Wheaton Fund, exceeding last year’s $3.9 million mark.
The final Wheaton Fund tally for the 2011 fiscal year reflects a modest increase in alumnae/i participation as well as the generosity of the members of the Mary Lyon Society, who make leadership gifts to the college on a yearly basis. As a group, the Mary Lyon Society contributed $3.6 million.
“Wheaton’s donors have truly ‘gone beyond’ expectations this year,” said Mary Casey, vice president for college advancement. “We are tremendously grateful.”
Annual support is critical to preserving the college’s programs. The Wheaton Fund helps to sustain everything from scholarships and faculty salaries to athletics and campus programming. In fact, annual gifts, combined with income from the endowment, bridge the gap between the funds that the college collects in tuition and the actual cost of a Wheaton education.
The immediate impact of gifts to the Wheaton Fund inspires many parents to get involved. Indeed, parents of current students and alumnae/i gave $324,744 to the college this year.
Overall, 30 percent of Wheaton alumnae/i contributed to the Wheaton Fund between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, which represents an increase over the 28.9 percent who participated in the previous year. The Wheaton Fund Participation Challenge helped to drive that improvement, earning an additional $200,000 from the alumnae/i who posed the challenge.
As always, alums celebrating Reunion participated enthusiastically. Marking their 50th Reunion, the Class of 1961 set the pace with a $300,258 cumulative gift to the Wheaton Fund this year. The 112 members of the class who contributed also represented the greatest number of donors as well as the highest participation rate (82 percent) of any class. The graduating seniors in the Class of 2011 followed with a 72 percent participation rate; the Class of 1981 showed the greatest percentage growth in participation from the prior year.
The Class of 1956 was given the Reunion gift award, which recognizes the class that has the largest five-year total for combined Wheaton Fund and capital giving—the five-year combined total was $7,797,536.
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Photo by Keith Nordstrom