Knox Fundraising Up in Cash, Donors

July 16, 2012

Knox College's Historic Old Main

Knox College exceeded fundraising expectations for the 2011-12 fiscal year (July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012) by raising more cash from more donors in the midst of a continuing difficult economic climate. In total, Knox raised $8.46 million from alumni, parents, friends, and private organizations to support Knox faculty and students, the College's educational mission, and its annual operations. This total includes an additional $1.49 million more from living donors than last year. The Knox Fund, or gifts that support the annual operations of the College, exceeded its goal of $2.9 million -- and last year's total of $2.98 million -- by more than $132,000, totaling $3,108,684 in gifts. Private gift support represents the College's second largest source of income.

For the first time in three years, Knox saw an increase in the number of individuals who made donations to the College, including alumni. The College received gifts from 8,606 donors, including 4,850 alumni, compared to 8,477 and 4,815 last year.

"We are grateful to our generous alumni and friends who continue to support the College during these tough economic times," says Beverly Holmes, vice president for Advancement. "Their support allows Knox to continue to offer a life-changing, residential liberal arts education to a diverse and talented group of students. To have such success in a year that celebrated the College's 175th anniversary and the installation of its 19th president makes the results even more meaningful."

Young alumni, or graduates from the last 10 years, continue to bolster Knox's fundraising efforts. The College received more than $92,000 in donations from 926 young alumni. This strong participation is a result of the Dodransbicentennial Challenge for Young Alumni, a challenge to reach 37 percent participation offered by Christina Ellis '05 and her family's foundation in honor of the College's 175th anniversary. One of the challenge's greatest successes was a one-day push to gain new or lapsed young alumni donors, which led to 146 gifts in 24 hours. While young alumni didn't quite reach the 37 percent goal, they did reach 33 percent participation -- the second highest participation rate for young alumni donors in 30 years.

"To have such strong support from our youngest alumni is a true source of pride for Knox," adds Holmes. "Our young alumni represent the future of Knox College, and their strong support today bodes well for their continued support in the coming years."

Fiscal year 2011-12 also included significant gains in the efforts to renovate Alumni Hall. Spearheaded by a $1.5 million gift from Gerald '65 and Carol Clail Vovis '65, fundraising for Alumni Hall this fiscal year totaled more than $7.2 million in gifts and pledges for the $10.3 million renovation. More information on Alumni Hall can be found at

Even with such fundraising success, the College remains aware of the heightened challenges it -- and other colleges and universities -- will continue to face in the years ahead. "As Knox works to continue to meet its mission in a challenging economic climate, the need for private gift support, particularly support for scholarships, is ever more important. We are confident that our generous donors will rise to these challenges and help Knox remain a world-class educational institution now and in the future," said Holmes.