Thanks to the broad support of alumni and friends, Hiram College has logged in its fifth consecutive year of record-breaking fundraising. At fiscal year-end, the College has generated $12.4 million in cash during the 2019-20 academic year.
“On behalf of Hiram College, I extend a deep-felt ‘thank you’ to hundreds, actually thousands, of alumni, trustees, and other donors who have continually demonstrated confidence in the strategic initiatives of the College,” says Lori Varlotta, Ph.D., president of Hiram College. “These loyal supporters have made material contributions that immediately and positively impact the campus community. Their joint efforts have positioned the College to meet the urgent challenges of the times, allowing Hiram to do what it does best: transform the lives of our students.”
In June, the College announced that President Varlotta will conclude her service as president this fall. Under her leadership, the College has achieved five record-breaking fundraising years and has raised a total of $57 million in cash donations.
“It has been an extraordinary experience to work hand and glove with President Varlotta over the last six years,” says Jennifer Schuller, vice president for development and alumni relations. “Her knack for transparency when communicating the needs of Hiram College and explaining the specific impact that each individual gift will make on the College is remarkable. She has earned the trust of those who invest in Hiram and has developed genuine relationships with alumni and friends of the College across the country. I will miss working with her, and I know our donors will as well.”
Gifts for the fiscal year include a $3.4 million bequest from Harlene Jones Lee ’51, an educator and professional skater. A portion of Lee’s gift was directed to support student health and athletics, as well as to three new endowed scholarship funds: one for students preparing for law school, a second for students bound for medical school, and a third fund for high-achieving students. The College also received an unrestricted gift of $1 million from an anonymous donor to support projects and priorities included in The New Liberal Arts™. Additionally, the College received several gifts to support campus improvements, including campus wayfinding, library renovations, classroom and lab renovations, a new athletic scoreboard, and more.
In March, as soon as the realities associated with COVID-19 surfaced, Hiram created a Student Resource Fund to support the needs of students most affected by the pandemic. Immediately, officials solicited friends and donors of the College to make gifts to alleviate the growing challenges surrounding food insecurity, travel, final tuition payments, next year’s deposits, health supplies, and more. The same fund also helps admission recruiters contact and stay connected to prospective students through a new set of recruitment strategies. All gifts made to the fund through June 30, 2020 were doubled up to a total of $75,000, thanks to matching gifts from Larry and Joyce DeYoung ’69/’69 and an anonymous donor. Currently, the fund has generated more than $280,000 for these purposes.
In October 2018, Hiram College launched a boutique fundraising campaign aimed at advancing The New Liberal Arts. Dubbed Vision 20/20, the campaign is designed to help the College update various facilities and infrastructures and bring several academic and co-curricular changes to fruition. The bipartite goal of Vision 20/20 is to raise $20 million in cash and $20 million in pledges by December 31, 2020. To date, the campaign has secured $24 million in cash and $11 million in pledges and newly documented will commitments.
For more information about Hiram College’s Vision 20/20 Campaign, visit www.hiram.edu/vision2020. Gifts can also be made in support one of the many funding opportunities outlined by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations and Development at 800-705-5050.
by Jenelle Bayus