Posted on Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Are Hobart and William Smith alums more loyal, more generous and more awesome than St. Lawrence University alums? Or do St. Lawrence alums love their alma mater more than Hobart and William Smith's? The race is on to find out!
Hobart and William Smith have challenged rival St. Lawrence to see who can capture, in one month, the greatest number of gifts from alumni and alumnae. The rules are simple: the school with the most alum donors during the month of June will claim "bragging rights" for the most loyal alums. A gift, of any size, counts toward the challenge. If you've already made a gift this year and want to give again to show your school spirit, you will count!
The institution that secures the most donors also receives a limited edition Saranac beer or soda label with the institution's name, courtesy of the Matt Brewing Company (thanks to Fred Matt, Hobart '81, and Carrie Hamilton Matt, SLU '82).
Just as the longstanding rivalry between HWS and SLU might suggest, the start of the challenge is already bringing out the rivalry between family and friends with ties on both sides.
Jared Weeden, Hobart '91, Director of Alumni Relations at HWS, says he always looked up to his sister Annie Weeden, a SLU grad.
"She was a great athlete at St. Lawrence, she was captain of the hockey team. She was always in charge and doing everything so well. Now this is my opportunity to knock her off that pedestal," Weeden says with a laugh. "Of course, in a loving and brotherly way."
His sister's response? "Bring it on."
After graduating with a degree in economics from Hobart, Laurence Hale, Hobart '95 interned at Advest Inc., where his old friend James Weiss, an SLU grad, was a vice president. Now, nearly a dozen years after forming the independent financial services firm Weiss & Hale Financial, Hale is chief investment officer and chief technology officer, Weiss a managing partner, and these company heads and old friends are set to square off in Settle the Score.
Weiss says there is "a similar ethic that exists among those who go to small, co-ed liberal arts schools in the northeast-the bitter weather, and the long, snowy drives," he jokes.
But Hale is confident in the challenge and loves his alma mater so much that he says, "Even my drive to HWS is better than the trip to St. Lawrence."
Settle the Score is based on number of donors, not number of gifts. Each donor can count only once. All gifts made during the month of June count (e.g., annual fund, capital funds, endowed funds, planned gifts, etc.). Gifts of all sizes count.
The number of graduates who contribute to their alma mater each year is seen by many as an endorsement of the institution by those who know it best. Participation is one of the factors weighted each year by various publications that rank colleges and universities. Prospective families view this number as a measure of the school's reputation. Corporate and private foundations take into consideration the percentage of alums who give back as they weigh their decisions to fund grants at colleges and universities.
The challenge runs from June 1 through June 30. All credit card gifts made online or via telephone by midnight on June 30 and all mail received by June 30 will count toward this challenge.
Questions? Hobart and William Smith Alumni and Alumnae contact Kristen Einstein at Alumni House at Einstein@hws.edu or (315) 781-3753. St. Lawrence Alumni contact Kim Hissong, Director, Alumni and Parent Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 229-5837.