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Challenges spur fundraising success


tives, and church members. In the end, 675 alumni and parent volunteers helped put the Momentum Challenge over the top. Terry Thomas Fulmer ’76, chair of the trustees’ advance- ment committee, made the an- nouncement during Reunion. The final tally was 12,622 donors. Their gifts, and the $1 million challenge gift, are already sup- porting financial aid, summer collaborative research, student internships, and other crucial programs.


Annual Fund record HIGH BARS MET AND EXCEEDED, ANNOUNCES TERRY FULMER ’76 AT REUNION.


“With only a month to go, in April we were still short of last year’s donor numbers, let alone our goal for the year,” recalls Nancy Hamilton ’77, the VP for annual giving on Skidmore’s alumni board. But she helped rally and expand the volunteer network to raise more than $6.65 million for Skidmore. Others also rose to the challenges of the 2010–11 giving year, setting new records on the way to a $27 million total.


Creative challenge


When the goal gets ambitious, the ambi- tious get creative. For alumni from the ’90s and ’00s, rising to Skidmore’s $1 Million Momentum Challenge meant some fierce and friendly interclass com- petition. To help reach the target of 12,500 donors making gifts of any size by the end of the giving year, and thus earn an extra $1 million gift from the anonymous group of challengers, class leaders rallied their classmates to see which class could hit the highest parti - cipation mark. “We’re all at different stages of our lives,” says volunteer Craig Hyland ’05. “Some of us are in grad school, some just married, some having kids. It was diffi-


28 SCOPE FALL 2011


cult to find messages that would resonate with everyone and remind them how rel- evant Skidmore still is in their lives.” The contest in his decade was a close race as the May 31 deadline loomed; 2006 and 2008 were leading by a nose. But Rebecca Blum, Jason Del Pozzo, and he led their fellow ’05ers to a top finish, with 30 per- cent making a gift. In the ’90s, it was the class of ’92—sparked by volunteers Jill Richardson O’Brien, Jennifer Rose Savino, and Andrew Hughes—that triumphed, with 27 percent donating.


As class fund chair and Friends of the Presidents chair, Virginia Miller Lyon ’47 started fast, sharing ideas in volunteer conference calls and encouraging her classmates early and often. Her efforts led to an 82 percent participation rate, the highest of any alumni class. Her powers of persuasion even inspired gifts from more than 50 of her non-Skidmore friends, rela-


FRIENDS OF PRESIDENTS’ LEVELS


First 1–4 years After 5–9 years After 10–14 years after 15–19 years after 20 years or more


$100 $500 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000


The Momentum Challenge played a key role in setting a new Annual Fund record: the 2010–11 total of $6,669,548 was Skidmore’s largest ever. Another starring role was played by the class of ’61, whose mem- bers gave a $1.5 million 50th-reunion gift that included a record-breaking $439,418 for the Annual Fund. And the graduating seniors again took part—led by Jared Greenbaum ’11 and Alex Stark ’11, they raised $5,150 toward a scholarship for a rising senior in the class of ’12. Skidmore’s always remarkable Annual Parents Fund accounted for an unpre - cedented $1.6 million last year, with $515,706 coming from families of the class of 2011. Parents Fund co-chairs Cathy and Scott McGraw (their daughter is Carolyn ’12) proudly report, “Our fel- low parents gave most readily, in a ter - rible economy, and outpaced last year’s total by 26 percent.” Cathy says, “It was important to have the participation of so many at all giving levels.” Being actively involved in a community of “won derful parents who believe so strongly in Skid- more’s mission has been greatly reward- ing for us.”


Presidential mettle


More than $5 million of the Annual Fund’s total came from gifts at the Friends of the Presidents level. A new scale for Skidmore’s more recent alumni


PHIL SCALIA


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