Each year since 1995, when The Westmont Fund made its debut, the college has exceeded its goal for this important fund. During the 2000 fiscal year, donors gave $1.75 million, 17 percent more than the target of $1.5 million. This ongoing success reveals the broad support that exists for Westmont among alumni, parents, friends, foundations, businesses, and organizations.
One encouraging trend is the increase in alumni giving. Overall, 24 percent of alums made gifts to Westmont during the 2000 fiscal year. This represents an increase of 26 percent over last year’s total of 19 percent. In addition, 32 percent of alums who graduated from Westmont supported their alma mater, up from 28 percent the previous year.
“Every gift, no matter how small, makes a big difference,” says Stephen Baker ’84, vice president for development. “This is particularly true with giving by alumni, because their financial support is an important expression of their feelings about their alma mater. Their participation is also used as a key indication of institutional quality. Publications that rank schools and foundations that make gifts to higher education ask for the percentage of alumni who give.”
The Westmont Fund was established to meet two goals. The first is bridging the gap between the cost of educating a Westmont student and the amount each student actually pays in tuition. The second is building a base of committed donors to the college.
Although Westmont is heavily dependent on income from tuition, the amount students pay doesn’t cover the complete cost of providing a high quality education. Each year the college raises money to close this gap, which has totaled about $2,000 per student historically. Last year, the cost of educating each student was about $2,700 more than the amount they paid in tuition and fees. Donations to The Westmont Fund provide scholarships for deserving students, funding for important academic programs, and support for Reynolds Gallery and athletic scholarships.
Replacing the revenue that Westmont Fund gifts provide would require a $30 million endowment.
Graduating seniors continue to set new standards for giving. A record 53 percent of the class of 2000 gave to The Westmont Fund.
During the capital campaign, The Westmont Fund will continue to provide an important source of revenue for ongoing operations of the college.