The Annual Fund

A strong annual fund underwrites the Colleges' distinctive liberal arts education for generations to come. In fact, no gifts to the Colleges have more immediate impact on today's students than those made every year to The Annual Fund.

The Annual Fund brings in around $2.5 million each year to cover operating expenses - everything from professors' salaries to paying for heat and electricity to supporting events on campus.

There are two general categories of annual giving: unrestricted and restricted.

Unrestricted gifts are gifts given to The Annual Fund, including those with specific designations within The Annual Fund:

-Colleges' Greatest Needs
-Campus Enhancement
-Center for Teaching & Learning
-International Study
-Library Support

Restricted gifts are gifts that are made with a specific designation and are not included in The Annual Fund. Gifts to the Statesman Athletic Association and the Heron Society are examples of annual gifts that are restricted because they are designated specifically for athletics. Hobart and William Smith believe in the integrity of soliciting and honoring gifts, so a gift goes where it is designated (even that $20 to scholarship). Although a restricted gift is not counted as a gift to The Annual Fund, it is counted as an annual gift.

Why is Giving Back so Important to HWS

Giving back is a defining characteristic of the HWS family. We contribute time and talent to the Colleges and causes we believe in most deeply. For many, HWS is central among our priorities. We give to the Colleges to support curious, motivated students and the professors who teach them. We give to provide a rich variety of experiences to students inside and outside the classroom.

Why is participation so important?

Participation in the Annual Fund is just as important as the amount of money raised annually. Giving a gift at any level demonstrates your support for the Colleges. Alumni and alumnae participation is an important aspect in attracting prospective students and also in applying for grants and federal aid. This, in turn, translates to a more valuable degree for you.

Young Alum Participation

FY06= 22.1%
FY07= 23.5%
FY08= 22.6%
FY09= 22.9%
FY10= 27.97%

The Emerson Society

The Emerson Society, the name of the Colleges' most prominent giving recognition group, continues to honor William Emerson's legacy of service as participant, adviser and benefactor. Today, members of The Emerson Society provide leadership financial support to the Colleges, enabling them to continue their commitment to excellence in liberal arts education.

Young alumni and alumnae are an important part of leadership giving at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. For this reason, alumni and alumnae from the last ten graduating classes have the opportunity to become Emerson Society members at prorated levels. Young alums gain membership by giving $100 for each year since graduation for up to ten years out. This enables young alumni and alumnae to take a leadership role in continuing the tradition of giving back to Hobart and William Smith.

Classes of 2010: $100
Classes of 2009: $200
Classes of 2008: $300
Classes of 2007: $400
Classes of 2006: $500
Classes of 2005: $600
Classes of 2004: $700
Classes of 2003: $800
Classes of 2002: $900
Classes of 2001: $1,000

Member Benefits

  • Special recognition and thanks from the Colleges' President
  • Invitation to exclusive celebration events for The Emerson Society
  • Advanced and special notification of HWS news and events
  • Prominent mention in the annual Honor Roll of Giving

Your membership in the Emerson Society places you among our most loyal and generous donors.

“I give because…”

"I give to the colleges because I feel it is important to support a place that gave me, and so many others, a great experience for four years. I hope that through my donation I contribute a small part to the larger effort of making the Colleges an even better place for future generations."- Sarah Coffin '05


What YOU can do this year as a HWS young alum

1. Come back and visit campus. There have been numerous changes over the past several years.

2. Update your contact information and submit class notes. We want to know what’s going on in your life.

3. Reconnect with your past roommate(s). You’ll be thankful you did.

4. Cheer on the Herons and Statesmen. Don’t forget to show off that green, orange, and purple!

5. Attend a young alumni/alumnae event in your area.

6. Attend Reunion.

7. Refer high school students to HWS.

8. Call career services to inquire about young alum opportunities.

9. Write a hand-written thank you note to a professor or staff member who has made a difference in your life.

10. Make a meaningful gift to the Colleges each year. Your support does matter.

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.