Gifts to Occidental Set New Record
Occidental College raised a record $20.92 million in gifts in 2004-05, eclipsing its previous single-year record by more than $5 million and capping six years of steady growth that have seen overall giving increase by more than 240 percent.
The number of Occidental alumni making gifts also reached record levels, resulting in a 46 percent participation rate. This, too, is the culmination of six years of consistent growth since 1999, when the alumni participation rate stood at 34 percent. Giving to the Alumni Fund has grown more than threefold during that period, from $1.15 million to $3.68 million.
Altogether, three of the five best fundraising years in Occidental history have come during last six years.
“Our success is due to a number of factors, and burgeoning alumni support is among the most conspicuous,” said Jon Keates, vice president for institutional advancement. “Balanced budgets and the soaring number of applicants have buttressed alumni confidence in Occidental, and alumni are expressing this renewed confidence through their financial support.”
Occidental received a record-breaking number of applications for the seventh consecutive year in 2005, with 5,120 students seeking one of 430 spots in the Class of 2009. Overall, applications to Occidental have risen a remarkable 170 percent since 1997.
The college’s thriving alumni program, led by Jim Jacobs, director of alumni relations, and the revitalization of Occidental Magazine under editor Dick Anderson also have played a significant role in engaging alumni in the affairs of the college, Keates noted.
Occidental’s old single-year giving record, set in 1994 in the midst of a capital campaign, was $15.83 million. Last year Occidental raised a total of $12.21 million, with an alumni participation rate of 45 percent.