Challenge issued. Challenge met.GAMBIER, Ohio (April 18, 2011)
Thanks to strong support from alumni, parents, and friends, the $1 million Trustee Challenge has concluded with healthy increases to the Kenyon Fund and the Kenyon Parents Fund.
"We knew the Kenyon community would respond, and they proved us right," Director of Annual Giving Shawn Dailey said. "There were substantial increases in donations. People really stretched to meet the challenge."
Responding to a shortfall in the College's financial-aid budget, the College's 42 trustees donated $1 million last summer to create their challenge. The challenge matched dollar-for-dollar increases in giving or gifts from new donors to the Kenyon Fund and the Kenyon Parents Fund with gifts for financial aid.
More than 3,000 alumni, parents, and friends had their gifts matched.
Of the trustees' $1-million donation, $625,274 provided matches for gifts to the Kenyon Fund and $374,726 matched Parents Fund gifts.
Among alumni who gave at a higher level in order to qualify for the match, the average gift increase was 70 percent; the average increase among parents was 67 percent.
"Incredible," Dailey said.
"We were optimistic that alumni, parents, and friends would step up to the challenge. We are very much pleased with the response, and so grateful," said trustee board chair William E. Bennett '68.
The project had a two-pronged approach, according to Barry F. Schwartz '70, head of the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee, who led the fundraising for the challenge.
"The Trustee Challenge was a one-year response to the immediate issue of financial aid, while the long-term goal of the challenge is to increase alumni and parent giving so that we have greater resources for financial aid in the future," said Schwartz.
"My hope is that alumni and others will continue to increase their gifts even though the challenge is completed, with the reward being that their gift has a tremendous impact on Kenyon's financial aid."
Overall, the Kenyon Fund in its current year stands at nearly $3.1 million with the Kenyon Parents Fund surpassing $1.1 million. Both are about 10 percent higher than their levels a year ago.
The Kenyon Fund supports all aspects of the College, "everything from keeping great professors in the classrooms to maintaining one of the world's most beautiful campuses. It supports everything that makes Kenyon great," said Dailey.
Gifts may still be made to this year's Kenyon Fund, which continues through June 30.
Continuing through April 30 is the Young Alumni Kenyon Fund Challenge for the Classes of 2008,'09,'10, and '11. The class tallying the largest participation rate in the Kenyon Fund wins. No gift is too small. The prize comes in the form of a $50,000 needs-based scholarship to be awarded in the name of the winning class to an incoming Kenyon student in the Class of 2015.