The financial challenges Knox faced in 2001 were unique to the College. Today's financial challenges are global.
We will survive these challenges because of the academic excellence Knox maintains; the confidence we've developed as an institution; and the generosity of alumni and friends. Knox's current administrative leadership was with Knox through the trials of the first part of the decade. And the faculty and staff who have been at Knox during that time have shown tremendous discipline and creativity when it came to producing a top-notch educational experience for our students, while tightening the purse strings.
This experience will carry us through today's challenging economic times. Knox's third goal -- Charting A Course Toward Financial Impregnability -- is more important now than ever before. Financial impregnability is a significant endowment -- one that places Knox in the middle to top-tier of our sister colleges -- and steady annual contributions from at least 40 percent of our alumni body. In its simplest terms, financial impregnability means freedom.
If Knox had financial impregnability, it would have the freedom to shrug its shoulders when the Dow Jones loses 2,000 points; to pay faculty salaries that rank at the top of schools like ours; to make decisions exclusively on what is best for its world-class educational program; and to renovate Alumni Hall and make it once again a vibrant campus center. (In fact, my biggest disappointment is my inability to secure enough major gifts to make the Alumni Hall renovation a reality.)
If Knox had financial impregnability, it would have the freedom to flourish.
How do we Chart A Course Toward Financial Impregnability? We continue to do what we do now -- careful stewardship of our resources, thoughtful and systematic budgeting, and informed selection of priorities. But Charting A Course Toward Financial Impregnability requires more. It means systematically getting the story out to all of our alumni and other donors about what goes on here. Getting the word out about how our faculty stretches the minds of our students. And getting the word out about how everyone who works at Knox -- from the newest dining services worker to the dean of the College -- focuses on providing a world-class education to our students.
And that's where you come in. As of June 2008, more than 7,000 individuals, including 33 percent of our alumni body, made a gift to Knox. Thank you, alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends, for donating money to Knox. We need more people like you.
These are hard financial times, and like the entire country, we don't know where Knox's savings -- our endowment -- may be in one year, two months, or even a week. That's why major gifts are important. They are what will strengthen our endowment and prepare us for the future.
But it is regular, annual gifts that sustain us now. The more alumni and friends who support Knox every year, the closer Knox is to achieving Financial Impregnability. And so I ask you to please give to Knox. Give in whatever way you can -- every gift counts. Visit our secure giving page and make a gift online or learn more about the many ways you can give to this special College.
Your gifts give Knox the freedom to flourish, now and into the future.