Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Upward Together Campaign to Enhance Campus and Student Life

On Oct. 13, Whitman’s Upward Together Campaign launched, marking a collective effort by the College to gather and allocate funds for the future and current members of the Whitman community. 

The campaign’s goal is 200 million dollars in order to meet the six key priorities that underscore these efforts. These priorities include Access & Affordability, Academic Excellence & Distinction, Vibrant Campus Community, Advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Strong Graduate Launches for All Students and The Whitman Fund. At the time of writing, 143 million dollars has been raised. 

Multiple alumni have made substantial donations, like Gordon ’68 and Kathy Britt Keane ’67  who gave 1.5 million dollars for scholarships and aid. Donations go towards various initiatives like the construction of the new upperclassman hall, Harvey Hall, which is set to be in use by 2025.

In a statement made to The Wire, Vice President for Finance and Administration Jeff Hamrick discussed the specific facilities and projects that funds from the campaign will be allocated towards. 

“The current $200 million capital campaign has one major facilities-related component: three residential halls, with apartment-style layouts, that collectively will feature more than 200 beds and is currently called the College Creek Village. The fundraising objective for the village is $30 million,” Hamrick said. 

Hamrick mentioned the contributions donors have made towards sports facilities such as the new soccer and lacrosse competition and training facility, James Hayner Field, as well as the new baseball clubhouse to be ready for the spring season at Borleske Stadium. These contributions are in support of the “Vibrant Campus Community” priority.

In terms of long-term maintenance and operational costs for the facilities, Hamrick mentioned the Life Cycle Program. This program ended the necessity of deferred maintenance, postponing maintenance activities to save costs of balanced budgets, by allowing the College to make contributions from the operating fund to the Life Cycle Fund for continued support and maintenance of the projects. 

Alumni contributions play a significant role in the fundraising efforts of the Upward Together Campaign. 

In a statement to The Wire, Steve Setchell, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, discussed the ways the College engaged with the alumni.

“President Bolton, the Development & Alumni Relations team and campus partners are engaging alumni, families and friends of The College through broad events and communications and individual conversations with major gift donors.  In the past three weeks, we’ve hosted events on campus and in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Denver.  Next week we’ll be in Seattle and then in January we’ll go to New York and Washington, D.C.,” Setchell said.

The communications team is utilizing a diverse array of platforms — including social media, videos, emails and print materials — to showcase the stories of impact and motivations for generosity from the alumni community since the campaign’s launch.

Setchell discussed the ways the College can be transparent in the allocation and usage of the funds raised from this campaign. 

“It’s important to note that most of the funds raised in the campaign will be designated or restricted by donors who choose a priority or project important to them. For example, donors have made $54 million in gifts and commitments toward scholarships and financial aid endowments … Those scholarship and financial aid investments are critical for current and future generations of students, but they are restricted to that particular purpose and do not allow the College flexibility of allocating to other areas,” Setchell said.

Setchell also described how funds differ in terms of leniency with allocation. 

“Funds that can be flexibly allocated by the College include unrestricted gifts to The Whitman Fund. The Whitman Fund receives the broadest support of alumni, families and friends of the College … The Whitman Fund is one component of the College’s annual operating revenue budget; it supports all of the expenses built into the operating budget, just like tuition, room and board,” Setchell said.

Vice President for Communications Gina Zandy Ohnstad said that the community will be informed about campaign updates as fundraising efforts continue.  

“Gift announcements will be shared throughout the remainder of the campaign that include information about the specific designations for those funds. In addition, regular progress reports will be shared on the Upward Together website and through other digital communications as we move toward campaign goals,” Ohnstad said. 

The allocation of funds from the Upward Together campaign marks a commitment from the College to improve and invest in the facilities, programs and individuals of the Whitman community. 

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