By Saj Sri-Kumar
The school will no longer solicit donations from alumni in college, President Thomas C. Hudnut announced to the senior class on March 6.
Chief Advancement Officer Ed Hu said the decision was made because college students usually are not making money, and it was inappropriate to ask for donations when people were short on money. The decision runs in contrast to the Advancement Office’s previous policy, which encouraged giving small amounts as a means to create an ongoing connection to the school so that when alumni started to earn money, they would continue to donate in larger amounts.
“Our philosophy has always been to get people early into a routine of giving,” Hu said. “If we’re looking at a lifelong engagement and supporting the school, you want to get people started early. Once you’ve got people in the mix, it’s much easier to keep them going.”
Hu said he had more confidence in the school’s ability to remain connected to the alumni population because of the growth in social media.
“Whether it’s Facebook or whatever it might be, we didn’t have that tool five years ago,” he said.
Hu said that young alumni can contribute in other ways, such as hosting students during college tours or mentoring them during the application process.
“There are ways that people can give back, other than writing a check or giving us a credit card,” he said.