The results are in from the Art Center 2012 Annual Fund spring fundraising appeal, and the numbers are impressive indeed. The Fund, which provides critical support for the College’s most immediate needs and initiatives, saw a surge in support from alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and other friends.
Total giving jumped a whopping 330 percent over last year, and overall participation was up 42 percent.
Why the sudden (and deeply appreciated) increase? Kristine Bowne, Art Center alumni relations director, and Karen Hofmann, chair of the Product Design department, offered their thoughts.
Art Center: Kristine, what are alumni telling you about their increased interest in supporting their alma mater?
Kristine Bowne: Many alumni are telling me they feel good about the direction of the College. They also feel more connected. We’ve made an effort to rebuild lines of communication between them and the president, and I think they are excited about the thoughtful way they’ve been involved in planning Art Center’s future.
AC: Karen, one of the biggest increases in participation has been among Art Center faculty and staff. Why the change?
Karen Hofmann: Our faculty and staff have always given so much of their time and energy to ensure our students have best possible educational experience and are prepared for meaningful careers. Today, they realize that the state of higher education means that even more has to be done. For many of them, reaching into their own pockets, especially to support the scholarships many students so desperately need, is just a natural extension of their commitment to our students.
KB: The case for scholarship support has never been clearer among our alumni as well, Karen. So many alumni know a classmate who wasn’t able to continue at Art Center because he or she couldn’t afford to. The issue hits them in a personal way. They want to make a great College education available for others.
AC: You both chose to give generously to the Annual Fund. What does giving to Art Center mean to you?
KH: One of the most satisfying things about my job is helping our students make it successfully through Art Center. For me, contributing to their success comes from many different places – from teaching, from advising, and from giving financially. We have a responsibility to the students we accept into our programs to do everything we can to pave the way for them.
KB: Art Center has been a part of my life for a decade. It’s always been more than a job to me; it’s a community I feel a part of. Giving through the Annual Fund is a small way I can show my appreciation and help strengthen that sense of community for others.