Donations, However Small, Will Make a Big Difference
For seniors who will soon complete their final week of classes, the upcoming festivities preceding graduation are likely to arouse bittersweet feelings. By all accounts, the final few weeks are poised to feature many highlights, including Fun Day, the 7 Days Dance, and commencement. But as evidenced by last week’s Graduation Fair, an event in which seniors took care of logistical business related to joining Skidmore’s alumni network and donating to this year’s Senior Gift, many seniors are probably thinking, “well...this is it.”
It is also an important time for seniors, as well as other upperclassmen who will soon enter their final year at Skidmore, to begin considering the value of consistently supporting the college after graduation.
Of course, financial donations matter to Skidmore for a number of reasons. Look no further than the college’s efforts to raise money for the Center of Integrated Sciences (CIS), which will commence construction on phase one of the project later this spring, but still needs additional funding in order to complete the entire undertaking.
Yet while an ambitious project such as the CIS building requires millions of dollars in funding, it is important to know that the amount of money one donates is less essential than the act of donating itself. In compiling their yearly rankings of the best colleges in the United States, U.S. News & World Report measures student satisfaction by the percentage of living alumni who donated to the school over the previous two years. Though this component of U.S. News & World Report’s rating system is relatively small (5%, as of 2018), contributing small amounts of money is an easy way to potentially boost an important metric that directly affects the future value of a Skidmore degree.
Small donations are important in other ways as well. For example, the vast majority of gifts to the college are under $100. And according to the administration, the total of these “small” donations typically allows for 20 students each year to be granted the requisite financial aid packages that provide them the opportunity to attend Skidmore. In other words, the sum of donations under $100 alone -- toward initiatives such as the senior gift -- has likely supported a number of current Skidmore students enrolled today.
Aside from financial support, it is worthwhile to stay socially connected to Skidmore. Reunions and off-campus networking events are likely to be beneficial in maintaining connections made during our time in Saratoga. Moreover, opportunities exist among clubs and other student-run organizations at Skidmore to plan affinity engagement events, which essentially connect past groups of Skidmore students who participated in the same clubs and organizations during their time here. Many of the sports teams already have this sort of engagement, as evidenced by the alumni games that take places during the fall and spring seasons. Other organizations would likely benefit from remaining in touch with alumni who share common links with current students from both a social and career perspective as well.
As President Glotzbach recently remarked in an interview with The Skidmore News, attending Skidmore is “not just a four-year experience, but a lifetime experience.” So as many seniors prepare to graduate in a few weeks, and sophomores and juniors get set to explore internship and research opportunities this summer, now is the time to think about how consistently supporting the college can continue to enhance the Skidmore community and, just as importantly, allow your education to serve you well moving forward.