Harvey Mudd College has launched an all-student-body giving campaign in an effort to increase student philanthropy. The aim is for students to donate money to an endowed scholarship fund for future incoming students. The two-week campaign was announced at the April 10 Wednesday Nighter and will continue until April 24.
The goals—decided during conversations between HMC President Maria Klawe, Vice President for Advancement Dan Macalusco, and student representatives from each class—include a monetary goal of $8,000 and a student participation goal of 75 percent.
The Alumni Association Board of Governors has agreed to donate $2,500 if the goal of $8,000 is met, as well as $625 for every 25 percent student participation reached. Students who donate will also be able to suggest a name for the new classrooms funded by alumni Bruce Worster ’64. In addition to these incentives, President Klawe has agreed to be dunked in a dunk tank if both goals are met.
“They observed over time that initially, after graduating, students from Harvey Mudd don’t tend to give a lot, but then, over time, it increases,” said Adam Brown HM ’13, who is involved in the campaign. “The idea was that they wanted to get students involved earlier and get more philanthropy acknowledgement in the student body.”
The issue of how to increase student and alumni philanthropy has been a topic of conversation for several years.
“Our senior giving had been holding steady for the past few years at about 40 percent, which is kind of a drop from what it used to be. Scripps and Pitzer typically see almost 100 percent each year, and we’ve not seen that here,” Director of Annual Giving Marisa Fierro said. “Giving does actually make an impact. For us here at Mudd, our budget-relieving money that comes in makes up 10 percent of our annual operating budget, so we really do need all the funding that we get.”
Although the idea of a student giving campaign was decided in conversation between Klawe, Macalusco, and student representatives, the decision of what to raise money for was decided by the entire student body in the Associated Students of Harvey Mudd College elections. Students were able to choose a new coffee machine in the Platt Campus Center, a general unrestricted fund, or a write-in option.
“An endowed scholarship means that it goes into our endowment, which is basically our investments. We then use the interest that we get from the endowments. It’s also there for the life of the college,” Fierro said.
According to Fierro, the college hopes to raise enough money to generate a large enough interest in future years to be put toward scholarships. However, even if the college does not reach its goals, she said the campaign will still be a cause for celebration.
“Even if we end up at 50 percent, that’s still a success because that’s still a higher involvement than in our senior class gift, and we would still celebrate that,” Fierro said. “It’s still 50 percent of our entire student body that collectively got behind something that’s beyond themselves.”
Students can donate during tablings at Hoch-Shanahan Dining Hall or online at https://www.formstack.com/forms/hmc-student_philanthropy_2013.