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College’s Fiscal Year Closes with Record-breaking Engagement, Success

Annual giving reached the highest total in Holy Cross history this year with $65.9 million, and thousands of alumni engaged with the College digitally
July 21st, 2021 by 
Fenwick Hall viewed from Kimball Hall during summer.

The Holy Cross community once again demonstrated its dedication to the College’s mission by setting new records for giving and alumni and parent engagement during the 2021 fiscal year.

In total, supporters gifted a record $65.9 million to the College, including the largest bequest in the College’s history – a $25 million gift from the estate of former trustee Agnes Williams W41, P83.

Despite limitations created by the COVID-19 virus, community engagement remained high. Thousands of alumni and friends participated in over 215 virtual programs offered by the College throughout the year, including webinars, career and professional development programs, regional social events, award programs, alumni-student mentoring opportunities, Reunion and Fall and Winter Homecoming. The Alumni Association sponsored “Crusader Correspondence,” a special outreach effort to our Purple Knights, as part of the annual Holy Cross Cares program. All graduates of the classes of 1946-55 received a personal note or letter from a fellow Crusader to share words of support and connection.

“The loyalty and support of the Holy Cross family is both inspiring and humbling,” says Tracy Barlok, vice president for advancement. “In a challenging year, our entire community showed without a doubt that they believe in the work we do on Mount St. James. We could not be more proud or more grateful.”

Alumni, parents and friends responded to the College’s needs with a new institutional record for annual giving – $11,582,618 in unrestricted gifts to the Holy Cross Fund. For the fifth straight year, the Holy Cross community contributed over $10 million to the Fund, exceeding the budgeted goal for the ninth consecutive year. The Crusader Athletics Fund (CAF) also witnessed a record-breaking year – 3,674 donors gave $2,110,308 to the CAF to support student-athletes, with 49 percent of former athletes giving to the College.

This year’s numbers also highlighted the loyalty of the College community, with 17,719 donors making gifts to the College this year. Alumni giving consecutively for five years or more numbered 10,176, with 3,219 alumni giving every year since graduation.

The College’s “Power of Purple” giving day was especially successful this year, raising a record $2,548,529 in 24 hours from a total of 4,706 donors.

Reunion classes raised $3,008,954 for the Holy Cross Fund and $2,330,491 in estate gifts. The Class of 1986, in celebration of its 35th reunion, raised the most annual fund dollars of any class, with a record-breaking $764,129. The 50th Reunion Class of 1971 surpassed its goal of $500,000, finishing the year raising $707,271, with 54 percent participation.

“We are so humbled by the outpouring of faith and charity from all members of the College community this year,” says Barlok. “This is incredible support for our students. And it’s a great tribute to our outgoing president, Fr. Philip Boroughs. In fact, our donors contributed $4.45 million to honor Fr. Boroughs with the establishment of a need-based financial aid scholarship for graduates of Jesuit and Catholic high schools, which, with the Williams Match, establishes an $8.9 million endowed fund.”

The College’s Hope + Access Campaign had a successful launch, with $28,957,062 given by 7,827 donors, and creating 25 new financial aid endowment funds. The total makes up 72 percent of the campaign’s goal of $40 million. The campaign will run until June 30, 2022, with Agnes Williams’ bequest gift matching all new and increased gifts to the College in support of financial aid.

Including the Williams bequest, 22 bequests to the College were realized last year, totaling $26,688,671. The College welcomed 13 new bequest intentions totaling $6,125,164, including the second-largest bequest intention ever made to the College – $5 million, gifted by Elizabeth and Robert McKay ’55. In all, 35 new members joined the College’s 1843 Legacy Society, which recognizes individuals who have included a gift to the College in their estate plans.

“This astounding show of engagement and generosity from the Holy Cross community will allow us to achieve crucial goals for years to come,” says Barlok. “To all of our family who have generously given to the College this year, and to all of our volunteers whose unwavering support continues to inspire so many – thank you! Each of you is enabling the College to thrive in our important work of forming the moral and ethical leaders so necessary in our world today.”

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