Elsewhere online
August 04, 2016

At Colleges Riven by Unrest, Older Alumni Rethink Giving

A year of conflicts over race, gender, history, and identity at university campuses has engendered a backlash among alumni donors, particularly at elite liberal-arts institutions, according to The New York Times.

At Yale, Princeton, Amherst College, and other campuses where protests erupted over the environment for students of color and facilities honoring historical figures now viewed as racists, alumni giving was flat or dropped in the year ending June 30. Campus-fundraising group Staff, or Sharing the Annual Fund Fundamentals, said 29 percent of its approximately 35 members took in fewer annual-fund dollars than in 2015 and 64 percent saw the number of donors decline.

Many older graduates and longtime donors have publicly soured on giving to their alma maters, expressing exasperation and bafflement over contemporary students’ actions, priorities, and sensitivities, the Times writes. Amherst President Carolyn Martin said she was not surprised that student unrest has cut into fundraising. “I think colleges are places where complicated society-wide issues are always thrashed out, sometimes across generations,” she said.