Let’s spend three days discussing the College’s new fundraising campaign: Teach It Forward: The Campaign for Williams. The main webpage is here. Today is Day 1.

1) Thanks to Professor Manigault-Bryant for the link to the official announcement and for the heads up about the Teach It Forward slogan. I love it! Coming up with a good slogan is hard, so kudos to Williams for inventing such a great one. Teaching is the single Williams activity that connects us all. By the way, future historians will want to know who came up with the slogan. Who was it? Let us praise this Eph!

2) Summary paragraph:

In a campus-wide celebration uniting students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents, Williams College tonight officially kicked off a multiyear campaign aimed at raising $650 million and engaging the entire Williams community in building the future of the college.

Teach It Forward: The Campaign for Williams is believed to be the most ambitious campaign in the college’s 222-year history and the most ambitious campaign in the history of liberal arts colleges. Following a three-year quiet phase of planning and fundraising, the college has secured $374 million in commitments toward its overall goal, and fully 66 percent of alumni have already engaged in some aspect of the campaign, whether through philanthropic support, volunteerism, or participation in campus or regional alumni events.

Kudos to EphAlum for almost guessing the campaign target of $650 million. Can anyone tell us about recent campaigns at places like Amherst, Swarthmore and Pomona? I am glad that Williams is trying to raise (and likely to succeed in raising) so much, but my sense is that this is not much more than other similar campaigns.

Why the “believed to be” in the opening sentence? This is, obviously, the most ambitious campaign in Williams history, assuming you define “ambition” as “dollars.”

The 66% figure is a bit of a scam. About 60% of alums give in a given year and, over a three year period (because all givers do not give every year) , the number is around 66%. But that figure would be similar in any three year period, regardless of the existence of the campaign.

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