To the Saint Mary's Campus Community,
As a new academic year begins with great expectations, I am pleased to report that we have just closed the book on the College's most successful year in generating external support.
In the fiscal year ending June 30, the College raised a total of $34,024,951 in gifts and pledges (including cash receipts of $15,026,462) representing a new fundraising record at Saint Mary's. Much of the generosity from donors came in support of our two priority capital projects. We have raised 70% of the funds needed for the Athletic and Recreation Corridor project, encompassing a new recreation center and baseball stadium. Construction began last month on phase one, and it is exciting to watch that project take shape near the entry to the campus.
Late last summer, the College received a $12 million conditional grant from a foundation in support of the expansion and renovation of the Library and Learning Commons project. In order to receive the money, the College must raise the remaining $28 million and break ground on the project by September 2013.
In addition to dollar totals, I am pleased to report record success in a number of other areas. The number of donors giving to the College through the year jumped by 23% over the previous year to a new record high. Much of the success in generating new gifts is due to the renovated telefundraising program, which tripled previous results. Donors to the President's Club increased by 28% to a record of 645. And kudos to the Class of 2011, who also set a record, with 54% of its members contributing to the senior class gift.
The College was blessed with a number of estate gifts, including one from Mary Torrey Dooms. Her generous bequest enabled the current expansion of the Art Gallery as well as funds for long-term support. The estate of the late William L'Heureux '35 established a scholarship fund for graduate business students with a donation of $731,000, the largest gift ever received for graduate student support.
Two key government grants funded faculty projects. I previously reported that the College received $2.1 million from the U.S. Department of Education and private foundations to expand "Reading Recovery," a Kalmanovitz School of Education program designed to address the needs of first grade students who are experiencing difficulty learning to read and write. In June, the College received a $173,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support a Summer Institute in Mexico City, "Dialogues in the Americas: Mexican Literature and Culture in Context."
We increased donor stewardship efforts this year in two key areas. A record 300 students answered our request to write letters to donors thanking them for contributions to student scholarship funds. A new booklet, "Frequently Asked Questions About Our Endowment," was mailed to all donors who support endowed funds. Beginning this summer, we launched two new recognition levels. The 1863 Society, which replaces the longtime President's Club, was created for donors providing core annual support of $1,863 or more, and the new President's Circle recognizes annual giving at the $5,000 level and above. In April, preceding the official launch, the first President's Circle black-tie dinner was held at the historic Claremont Hotel for 125 guests.
A generous slate of events for alumni, parents and donors grew as more of the College's extended family gathered on campus and at sites around the world to celebrate an affiliation with Saint Mary's. Last month, a record 450 alumni from the classes ending in 1 and 6 gathered for alumni reunion weekend, with overall participation totaling 655 guests. We anticipate more growth in the reunion program in the years ahead.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year, we will have welcomed six new advancement professionals to our group. Our newest team member, Kevin Reeds, joined the College last week as associate director of corporate and foundation relations. Next week, we will welcome Doug Hansen as planned giving officer. We see significant potential to increase support for Saint Mary's through corporate and planned gifts in the months ahead.
In just 12 months, the College will launch its sesquicentennial year of celebration. The goal is to utilize our 150th year to bring unprecedented, positive attention to Saint Mary's College, resulting in increased gifts, visits, applications and participation. A tremendous amount of planning, preparation and determination will be required to produce a memorable year while maintaining momentum on all our Advancement efforts. We will need the involvement and support of everyone in the community. More on this, soon.
Thanks for reading!
Keith E. Brant
Vice President for Development