Just three weeks after it was launched, the biggest fundraising campaign in Harvey Mudd College’s history has already raised $102 million of its $150 million goal. The funds, which come from donors that include members of the Board of Trustees and HMC alumni, will go toward hiring new faculty, increasing financial aid, and building new residence halls for the planned expansion of the student body.
HMC President Maria Klawe said that over the next 10 years, HMC plans to increase its student body by an additional 100 students from its current 783.
Colin Okasaki HM ’17 agreed that there is a need for new buildings to support students already on campus and to make room for new students.
“I’m not entirely sure what I think about the expansion of the college, but if they do, they’re definitely going to need new dorms,” he said.
Sam Miller HM ’17 said that he hoped that the fundraising campaign will contribute to “better financial aid, because the financial aid at Mudd is really hit or miss.”
A primary goal for the fundraising campaign is to increase awareness of HMC across the United States.
“Another thing that’s important to me about the campaign is that it’s an opportunity to raise our visibility,” Klawe said. “In just about everything we do, we’re constantly trying to be better known.”
Klawe said that increased name recognition would allow HMC to share educational strategies with other prestigious institutions.
“We think of ourselves as a lab for innovation in undergraduate science and engineering education, and what we’d like to have happen when we discover something is to actually be able to use that to help other institutions benefit from what we’ve discovered,” she said. “But if nobody’s ever heard of you, they’re not going to copy you.”
The money for the campaign will also go toward promoting diversity in the student body, faculty and staff, and Board of Trustees, which has been a priority for the college. The HMC class of 2017 has tripled the number of African-American students at the college, and the class of 2016 doubled the number of Hispanic students, making this year’s the most diverse student body in the college’s history.
“When I arrived here, there were a lot of people in our faculty and on our board who thought diversity meant that we lowered standards, and that’s not the point,” Klawe said. “The point is you manage to attract students and faculty and trustees who really bring different perspectives and different sets of experiences.”
Twenty years have passed since the last fundraising campaign at HMC. Klawe said that the school needed time to develop its “campaign muscle,” which included acquiring resources for the campaign and hiring Don Macaluso as the school’s newest vice president for college advancement in February 2011.
To guide this campaign, faculty members—in collaboration with the student body, alumni,
trustees, and parents—established six strategic vision priorities: Innovation, Leadership, and Impact; Experiential and
Interdisciplinary Learning; Unsurpassed Excellence and Diversity;
Nurturing and Developing the Whole Person; Global Engagement and
Informed Contributions to Society; and Infrastructure to Support
Excellence and Build Community.
HMC is also conducting a series of fundraising events across the country that feature student and faculty speakers.