“It’s not hard to get our graduates to contribute to the College,” says Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer. “I just send them an e-mail, reminding them how important their donations are to the College’s future. Then the gifts start rolling in.”
It is because of such loyal support that U.S News & World Report has named Thomas Aquinas College Number 2 out of more than 1,200 colleges and universities nationwide on its newly released rankings of alumni giving . The rankings are based on the percentage of alumni who contribute to their colleges and universities. Alumni-giving rates are, according to the magazine, “a gauge of alumni satisfaction” and a sign of “school spirit” — a reflection of how much graduates value the education they received as students.
“Our alumni — even if they are just starting out in the world, or if they have large families to provide for, or if they are priests — want to contribute to the College,” says Mr. Kretschmer. “They are grateful to have benefited from a Catholic liberal education, and they are eager to share that gift. Most of them received financial aid as students, and they are happy to give back to the more than 80 percent of our students who receive financial aid today.”
Whereas the national average for alumni giving over the last two years is 13 percent, Thomas Aquinas College’s rate is more than quadruple that figure, 58.9 percent. U.S. News has named the College to its Top 10 list for alumni giving for the last three years. This year the magazine ranked the College second in the United States, narrowly behind Princeton University, and one of only two Catholic schools to make the Top 10.
“We are profoundly grateful to our alumni for their generous and sacrificial support,” says Vice President for Development Paul J. O’Reilly. “Not only do alumni gifts directly help to cover our $4 million in annual financial aid costs, but they also attract the support of philanthropic foundations, which use alumni giving as a measure of the College’s institutional strength.”
Thus alumni gifts benefit the College many times over. As Dr. O’Reilly explains, “There is no stronger endorsement for the work we do here than the gratitude of our hard-working and loyal graduates.”
Posted: December 18, 2012