2011 Annual Fund Letter
Remember the nervous anticipation you felt the day you arrived at Amherst? This year, the Class of 2015 braved more than their own jitters as they and their parents swept into Amherst on the winds of Tropical Storm Irene. Thankfully, Irene delivered far less than was promised. Unlike that fickle storm, Amherst College will live up to its promises and be for them what it was for us, a transformative educational experience greater than they can imagine. They are lucky: they are at the doorstep of a great liberal arts education.
It's an expensive proposition to give a small group of excellent students the rigorous, eye-opening, life-changing education we received and that awaits the Class of 2015. It's no easy matter to align resources with Amherst's values. President Biddy Martin thinks the college has done a "spectacular job" of that. Thankfully, each generation of Amherst graduates has the opportunity to give back so that the next generation of students can learn, discover, and achieve in ways unimaginable anywhere else.
Amherst's educational model requires not just good management of resources but also resource diversity, to meet both immediate needs and longer-term goals. Alumni support in all its forms, including annual, endowed, capital, and deferred gifts, is essential for sustaining Amherst. Annual giving, the form of support with immediate impact on the education and experience of today's Amherst students, is the focus of our appeals to you.
Last year, 58.2% of alumni contributed $10 million to the Annual Fund, equaling the third-highest total in the college's history and representing a huge contribution to Amherst College. This year, the college hopes alumni will improve that support and sustain that endorsement of an Amherst education. With a little help from all of us, Amherst can achieve that and more.
With best wishes,
Sam Watson and Bob Knowles
P.S. We hope you take the opportunity this year to do more with Amherst through events, volunteering, networking, giving or even a virtual lecture--all part of Amherst Connects, an initiative strengthening our ties to the college and one another.