Financial Support for Saint Mary’s Remains Strong

To the Saint Mary’s Campus Community,

As we begin the spring semester, I want to take a moment to update you on our progress in Advancement.

Philanthropic support to the College continued at a reasonable pace for the first half of the fiscal year. The College raised a total of $3,803,778 in gifts and pledges for the period. Excluding gifts for capital facilities, this represents a 35% increase over the same period last year and a 20% increase over the same period two years ago. Unrestricted income is sluggish, representing only about one-third of the progress to our goal, while annual restricted income is at 66% of progress to our goal.

The College received three notable major gifts in the second quarter: a $200,000 endowed professorship for SEBA, a $250,000 grant from the Keck Foundation for training faculty to use new technology in teaching, and a $125,000 gift for the Library & Learning Commons project. New gifts and pledges for capital projects in the first half have been slow, although robust discussions with donors continue.

Beginning this academic year, we will be holding a Faculty/Staff Drive for Dollars during the fall and spring semesters. The fall drive resulted in overall 14% participation as of December 9. Participation is defined as any faculty or staff member making a gift to the College (to any fund). To make it more exciting, we divided the campus into 10 teams (not including Advancement). Our friends in College Communications and Enrollment led the campus with 50% of its staff giving. Here is how the rest of the campus fared:

      Student Life - 22%

      Mission & Ministry, President’s Office and the Brothers - 21%

      Provost’s Office, Library and CILSA - 12%

      School of Economics and Business Administration - 12%

      Business, Finance, Facilities and CATS - 12%

      Athletics & Recreation - 8%

      Kalmanovitz School of Education - 8%

      School of Liberal Arts - 7%

      School of Science - 7%

Our goal is to have 100% of all faculty and staff make a gift to the College this academic year. Gifts from faculty and staff have a powerful influence on donations by alumni, parents, friends, foundations and corporations. Gifts may be made by payroll deduction for as little as $5 per pay period. The spring drive will be held in April. (By the way, Advancement is at 74%!)

With Saint Mary’s rich tradition of athletics, fundraising for the Gaels continues to have success. In October, the fourth annual Tip-Off Club event to benefit men’s basketball and open the 2011-12 season attracted a record 237 alumni, donors, season ticket holders, players and coaches. Proceeds from the event and gifts to the Tip-Off Club totaled $109,682. Our most successful volunteer support group is the Rugby Alumni Association, which has been raising more than $200,000 annually for the past two fiscal years. The fourth annual Pat Vincent Rugby Dinner held in November raised more than $70,000, an increase of 29% over the previous year. More than 250 alumni, donors and Ruggers attended the event.

Recipients of the 2012 Alumni Award will be honored at a celebration on Saturday, April 28, at 6 p.m. at the Moraga Country Club. Alumni, family and friends are invited to attend this special reception and ceremony to celebrate these outstanding individuals: Joe Crane ’53 (Alumnus of the Year), Rev. Caesar Caviglia ’50 (Signum Fidei Award), Cindy Cooper ’96 (Meritorious Service Award), Chris Jones (De La Salle Award) and Derek Smead ’02 (GOLD Award). If you are interested attending, you can learn more and register online.

The opening of the New Louis Guisto Baseball Field will coincide with the baseball team’s season opener against Southern Utah on February 17 at 2 p.m. The field is phase I of the Athletic and Recreation Corridor, a $30 million project encompassing the new Alioto Recreation and Aquatics Center, baseball complex and plaza uniting them with the Cottrell Softball Field and Korth Tennis Courts.  Work on phase II, the recreation center, is expected to begin this spring. With 73% of the funds raised, the Development staff continues to seek the remaining amount needed.

Nearly 150 donors attended the inaugural event of the new 1863 Society (formerly the President's Club) on September 17 in the Chapel. The society, named for the year when Saint Mary’s was founded, recognizes the College’s generous donors. Guests at the event were treated to music, dance and theatre performances by students from the Performing Arts department, followed by a reception in front of the Chapel. It was a very memorable evening for all who attended.

In December, the Advancement marketing and stewardship team helped to bring “Years of Yearning,” the memoir by Brother Mel Anderson FSC ’51 to print. Brother Mel has been autographing copies of the book at many alumni and donor events. You can purchase a copy of the book at

Beginning this month, undergraduate students who receive donor-funded scholarships will be asked to write thank-you notes to donors. Hundreds of students are able to attend the College due to the generosity of donors. Students will be able to drop by the table in Dryden Hall to complete their notes. If you know students who have received a donor-funded scholarship, ask them if they have written their note.

Lastly, we are on course for a high turnout at the annual class reunions to be held this summer. A record number of volunteers (more than 100) are involved on class reunion committees, helping to recruit classmates to the reunion and lead efforts for class giving. Classes ending in 2s and 7s will gather on campus for a weekend of activities on July 20-22.

Thanks for reading,

Keith E. Brant

Vice President for Development