Class of 1968 raises over $1.7 million during 50th reunion year

July 17, 2018 — The Grinnell College class of 1968 celebrated its 50th reunion last month, but the impact of that celebration will last much, much longer.

During fiscal year 2017-2018, alumni from the class of 1968 directed more than $750,000 in outright gifts, pledges, and planned gifts for an endowed scholarship and $100,000 in cash and pledges to name a classroom in the Humanities and Social Studies Center (HSSC). But it didn’t stop there; they gave an additional $850,000 to other areas of the College, for a total commitment of more than $1.7 million.

Barry Ancona ’68
    Barry Ancona ’68

“That says something about us,” Class Fund Director Barry Ancona ’68 says. “In addition to those who gave to the Pioneer Fund or made unrestricted bequests, our class gave to 25 different restricted operating, endowment, and capital funds. I made it clear up front that my classmates were welcome to support one class gift, both class gifts, and/or anything else they wanted to. It all counts as 50th reunion giving.”

The endowed scholarship will be awarded to a student with financial need. The 1968 classroom will be on the third floor of Alumni Recitation Hall (ARH), which is being renovated as part of the HSSC project.

Ancona says he did not give a dollar goal for total 50th reunion giving.

“We don’t respond well to goals or targets and, in any case, our ‘class’ giving was simply going to be the total giving of the ‘individuals’ in our class who chose to give,” he says. “Since I’ve never asked an individual to make a gift of any specific amount, there was no reason to suggest a collective total.”

What Ancona did instead was help redesign a giving agreement form and explain to his classmates how the 50th reunion giving process worked.

“I explained last July when this got started that my classmates had five years to make gifts, and that those pledges and newly documented planned gifts count as 50th reunion giving,” he says.

Ancona knows his class well. After all, he has been class fund director since 1993.

—by Jeremy Shapiro

For your information:

The Class of 1968 is supporting an endowed scholarship, the HSSC and many other areas. Here are some of the options for what to support when considering a gift to the College.