In Depth — Alumni donation rates

By , Opinions Editor  |  Thursday, October 24, 2013 7:46 PM

St. Thomas will benefit for years to come from last year’s Opening Doors capital campaign that raised more than $500 million. Alumni donated over $200 million to the campaign. While that is a large amount of money, when it is compared to annual alumni donations among MIAC schools, St. Thomas has one of the lowest participation rates at about 19 percent.

Opinions Editor Caroline Rode looks at what this says about St. Thomas alumni and current Tommies with Senior Gift Officer John Bannigan.

This item was posted in Featured Video, In Depth, Latest News, Media Commons, News, Video and has 3 comments so far.


  1. Thomas Engrav
    Oct. 25, 2013 1:05 PM

    Well when you keep upping tuition every year unnecessarily, why would someone want to donate then? If they froze tuition, or decreased the costs from other sources, they wouldn’t need as much donations.

  2. Roman Oberle
    Oct. 29, 2013 10:04 AM

    Mr. Engrav, tuition increases are common throughout all private colleges. I am a current student and I assure you the tuition increases are not “unnecessary.” As a student manager in the St. Thomas Phone Center, I can tell you that the annual fund is our way to combat the increasing cost of tuition. With our alumni participation rate at 19% and our biggest rivals such as St. Johns and St. Olaf being over 30% it is clear that we can do a better job of supporting St. Thomas.

  3. Thomas Engrav
    Oct. 29, 2013 7:38 PM

    But “why” does tuition rise every year? That is what the school doesn’t make clear at all; details is what they should release. Having been at a meeting, while Senior Class President in 2010, where it was let known that a part of increasing tuition is so to be perceived more elite than others, being that people perceive more expensive schools as more elite, I find it hard to believe the school needs to increase tuition every single year the amounts they’ve increased it so far. If the school can find people willing to donate 10,20,30,40, 50 million, etc, for new buildings that students will only use for 4 years, why can’t they find someone willing to donate that much to, let’s say, allow tuition to be frozen for a certain amount of years? Or even decrease tuition? Or possibly create a bunch of new scholarships?

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