The 150th and Best Year Ever
It’s a popular theme in the media these days to describe trends,
organizations or events “by the numbers.” In every way,
St. Lawrence’s Sesquicentennial year had record-breaking numbers. I’d
like to share some of those with you, and then acknowledge the people among
our alumni, parent and friend volunteers who join with our staff to make
such success possible.
St. Lawrence University’s advancement efforts “by the numbers” in
*Donors of every affiliation were incredibly generous, creating a $22.6
million annual total for gifts and pledges, the largest ever. The total
is some 20 percent higher than the previous record, $18.8 million in 2001-2002,
the final year of Campaign St. Lawrence. Since 1996, gift income has grown
from under $6 million to its current level.
*Alumni, parents and friends grew the St.
Lawrence Fund, which represents gifts in support of the University's
ongoing operations, to a record-setting total of $4.8 million, a 9 percent
increase over the previous year and a 15.4 percent increase over the
last two years. For the first time in the University's history, gifts
to the Alumni Fund, a sub-set of the St. Lawrence Fund, totaled over
$4 million, at $4,069,453.
*Parent of current students and alumni created the largest Parents Fund
in St. Lawrence history, $650,000 from 1,227 donors.
*Some 91 percent of all alumni who made a pledge to St. Lawrence
fulfilled their pledge, an extremely high rate and a measure of confidence
in the University.
*Over $5.3 million in estate pledges was added to the University’s
records, a $110 percent increase over last year; known dollars in the Manley
Society (honoring those who have a deferred gift plan) increased from $49.4
million to $52 million.
*The Kresge Foundation awarded a $1 million challenge grant to St. Lawrence
in support of construction of the Johnson Hall of Science; the challenge
requires raising $4.1 million by April 1, 2007, to earn $1 million. Gifts
received in 2005-2006 from corporations, foundations and organizations
totaled $1.4 million, a 32 percent increase from last year.
*Momentum St. Lawrence, our next fundraising campaign, as you now know,
reached a total of $79.9 million by June 30, 2006, while still in its quiet
phase. This represents a $27.3 million increase over 2004-2005.
*Some 30 alumni visited campus as Laurentians in Residence,
as guest speakers for the Sesquicentennial or as lecturers in the University
*575 Laurentian volunteers helped the University advancement
programs of fundraising and events planning.
*Countless Laurentian volunteers helped the University attract a record-setting
3,192 applications for admissions and welcome a class of 612 terrific first-year
*Alumni, parents and friends attended 100 regional events in
30 states, 39 of those events on the same day—Charter
Day, April 3—the University’s official birthday, and making
Charter Day the largest gathering ever of Laurentians on one day.
*Over 1,100 alumni attended the all-class Reunion, again the largest Reunion
attendance ever. Some 100 former members of the Alumni Council and
25 past recipients of the Alumni Citation or Feinstone Award gathered for
the first time, and Theological School graduates celebrated their special
affiliation with the University.
*Over 200 alumni, parents, friends, students and faculty sent Happy Birthday
wishes to the University, messages that will be saved and opened at our
Bicentennial in 2056.
*Newspapers, television and radio stations, magazines and Web
sites such as the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Time magazine, People magazine,
the Chronicle of Higher Education, USAToday.com, Psychology
Today, Sierra magazine, the New York Daily News, Bicycling magazine,
and the Habitat for Humanity newsletter featured St. Lawrence news; the
University tracked 94 national or major regional placements without Commencement
stories counted in that total. Stories about Viggo Mortensen ’80’s
honorary degree remarks captured another 100 media placements around the
*In support of admissions and retention, the University issued 3,754 hometown
news releases, stories about student accomplishments that share the St.
Lawrence message of achievement.
*All audiences of the University enjoyed a radically redesigned Web site,
with dozens of new pages of content. Part of the redesign was the
launch of the first alumni portal, MySt. Lawrence, now allowing a password-protected,
secure site for alumni to update their address and career information directly
and to search for fellow alumni.
Quite a story! Numbers reveal results, that’s for certain. You
can imagine the passion, devotion and energy that these numbers announce
proudly. Our Sesquicentennial year was one of the best years ever
for St. Lawrence University, and I know that subsequent years will be even
better. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I thank everyone who makes
St. Lawrence the place that enlarges students’ knowledge of their obligations
and enhances their capacity to change the world, and the place of people
who cherish their roles as educators and people who cherish their education.