Colby-Sawyer College raised a record $21.5 million in fiscal year 2021, more than doubling its previous fundraising record of $10.6 million set in 2019.
The $21,513,102 raised, the highest single-year total in the college’s 183-year history, represents a 381% increase over last year’s fundraising total and includes the largest gift ever received by Colby-Sawyer – an investment of $10.2 million from longtime supporters William and Sonja Carlson Davidow ’56. The college also saw an 18% increase in overall donors, with more than 2,500 individuals and organizations – the most since 2015 – making gifts over the course of the fiscal year.
“I am deeply grateful to all those who supported the college this year,” Colby-Sawyer President Susan D. Stuebner said. “The generosity of our donors in helping us achieve a record-setting fundraising year will have a tremendous impact on the complete experience of our students – from financial aid, to academic and extracurricular programs, to infrastructure and building improvements.”
The Davidow’s record-setting gift, which almost entirely benefits the college’s endowment, will fund both endowed faculty chairs and scholarships for years to come, and has the potential to add an additional $5 million to the endowment through matching gifts. The first such matching gift was made in February when former chair of the Colby-Sawyer Board of Trustees Peter Volanakis and his wife Catheryn gave $1 million to establish the Volanakis Family Presidential Chair. Thanks in part to this generosity, Colby-Sawyer’s endowment now stands at a record $62.4 million, an increase of more than 56% from June 30, 2020.
Fiscal year 2021 also marked the successful conclusion of the three-year Trustee Scholarship Challenge which supported 40 different endowed scholarships and added $2.7 million to the endowment. The challenge, which garnered participation from 100% of the board, was spearheaded by the Volanakis family and concluded six months ahead of schedule.
In addition, Colby-Sawyer received a $2.9 million bequest – the largest in college history – following the passing of Gail Graham Lee ’62, and raised more than $340,000 during its third annual Day of Giving in April. More than 1,300 individuals, including alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends of the college, made gifts to the college during the 24-hour event.
“The fact that so many members of the Colby-Sawyer community contributed to the college over the past year is a strong vote of confidence in our commitment to providing an environment that produces graduates who have a lasting and positive impact on the world,” Vice President for College Advancement Dan Parish said. “This year’s record fundraising will have a transformational impact on Colby-Sawyer, allowing us to deliver more resources directly to today’s students and faculty while also planning for the college’s future.”