Message from the President: A word about national recognition - and you

Nov. 6, 2008

To our alumni:

I hope you're enjoying the fall and looking forward to the fast-approaching holidays.

Quite a few of you have told me you've enjoyed receiving messages from the president that didn't ask for money. I appreciate that. Of course, the St. Norbert Fund is in the middle of its fall drive and so one day soon we WILL be asking you again to support your alma mater. But this is not that request.

Instead, I thought you might be interested in a few factoids about alumni giving, perhaps to have in the back of your mind when that letter or friendly call does arrive.

For starters, I want to thank you for your support through the years. Do you know that your past and future donations help St. Norbert's national reputation? That's because the organizations that rank colleges, such as U.S. News & World Report, use alumni giving--the percentage of you living alums who donate--as a factor in determining a school's overall quality. The higher the percentage of alumni giving, the better our ranking. The size of your gift doesn't matter; it's literally the gesture that counts, which is as it should be.

In a typical year about 19 percent of our alums participate in our annual fundraising campaign, the St. Norbert Fund--not bad, but only about half of what is typical of private colleges generally. For instance, some of the other excellent liberal arts colleges in our Midwest Conference report alumni giving of 46, 43, 37 and 34 percent.

In addition to national reputation, the St. Norbert Fund makes all sorts of good things possible for our campus and students--financial aid, improved classrooms, library books and databases, food, power and all the various items that allow us to keep St. Norbert operating at the high level you expect of us. This support is crucial, and every gift, big or small, matters.

To sum up: Your gifts help us in more ways than you realize!

Thank you for continuing our momentum.

Tom