As an alumnus, parent, and trustee, I invest a lot of time and care working on behalf of Fairfield. I do so happily and with a strong sense of pride. I am always proud when I talk about what wonderful people I went to school with and about the excellent values-based education I received at Fairfield University. I consider my participation as a donor and as a volunteer to be both an investment in Fairfield’s future and, even more importantly, a “thank you” for the great education and wonderful friendships I found during my days on campus.
As a trustee, I have come to understand that the outside world (and the college survey books) judge universities on many criteria: academic excellence, student/teacher ratio, class size and campus setting, among others. In most categories, Fairfield is highly competitive, and we should all be proud. In the area of alumni participation, however, we lag behind virtually every one of our competitors. This is important to realize since alumni giving is viewed as a significant indicator of a university’s strength. Currently, 20 percent of Fairfield alumni support our institution. This compares unfavorably to schools like Boston College at 28 percent, Loyola Maryland at 33 percent, Holy Cross at 54 percent, and many of our other direct competitors.
I am writing this letter to ask you to please consider participating in supporting your University. As I have talked to people, many are unsure as to what is expected in terms of an amount. There is no expectation as to the size of a gift. Every gift is appreciated and no gift is too small. Giving is an extremely personal decision. Whatever you are comfortable with will make a difference. Participation is the critical factor.
We have 35,000 Fairfield University alumni. Imagine if every last one of them gave $25 today. The impact would send a very powerful message about pride and loyalty to the entire University community – to prospective students, their future employers, and to society at large. It would bring us the notice we deserve and the recognition we merit.
Giving represents pride. Let me point out several reasons you should be proud of your alma mater:
- Fairfield students are drawn from among the top 20 percent of their high school graduating class.
- Fairfield University has been consistently rated among top universities whose students go on to be Fulbright scholars, one of the most prestigious recognitions of academic excellence.
- Recent studies have shown that the average Fairfield University graduate commands a starting salary of approximately $50,000, surpassing the top schools with whom we compete.
Fairfield University is committed to access to education.
- Twenty-one percent of our students are the first in their families to go to college.
- Last year, 79 percent of the student body received financial aid.
- Overall, the university provides $45 million in scholarships and grants.
At Fairfield, you get faculty members who know your name and care about you. Last summer, I ran into an alumnus from the 60s who shared with me the following thought: “I never met anyone who went to Fairfield who didn’t like it. And I never met anyone who graduated from Fairfield that I didn’t like.” I couldn’t agree more.
I ask you to show your pride in Fairfield. Make a commitment to support our University – your University – today. Thank you.
Brian P. Hull ’80, P’13