Sometimes the things that go without saying are worth saying: The bones of any great college derive from its alumni. Beloit College is no exception. Alumni are the measure of the worth of any institution of higher learning.
The bonds between a college and its alumni are real, powerful, and sacred. The moment you stepped onto Beloit’s beautiful and historic campus, you and the college were inseparable. Linked at the hip. You were all in.
What it means to be “all in” ebbs and flows, depending on personal and external factors. But surely the essence of being all in is responding liberally, purposefully, and resolutely at critical junctures. When there is an authentic appeal for extraordinary support, being all in means you are called to action.
This is one such moment for Beloit College.
All In: The Campaign for Beloit College launches this month and will secure our institution for the next 174 years and beyond.
Of course, you are aware of the enrollment concerns that recently prompted a rescaling of the college. That was surely another such juncture. But my message to you right now is about an investment opportunity for the ages: the college’s successful future.
Beloit’s new strategic plan—which clearly and intentionally connects students’ learning experiences to their future lives, careers, and aspirations—is in full-scale execution mode. This is a big deal. But the plan needs to be nurtured and cultivated. It needs time and space to gain strength and momentum. And, it needs all-in investments by a community of investors who are, indeed, all in.
The impact of this plan will transform the quality of the student experience. It will also radically change the way that prospective students and their families come to understand the value of a Beloit education. And of critical importance, it is completely true to Beloit’s DNA, including the essence of the Beloit Plan—a sustained focus on the power of learning through the liberal arts as it is applied.
I am mindful, as you would expect, of the economics of the strategic plan. Every aspect has been hyper-conscious of its projected impact on prospective student demand. Your investment in the campaign (and the strategic plan) will be leveraged many times over by the ways it pushes enrollment—with new students coming to the college and existing students persisting through graduation.
The algebra is compelling. An all-in investment in the strategic plan that increases student demand by only three students per year (12 students over a four-year cycle) has the same effect on the operating budget as a $26 million gift to the endowment. Being all in matters.
Yes, your alma mater is asking you to demonstrate through this campaign that you are, indeed, all in. Rarely has the appeal to you from your alma mater been more authentic. Rarely have the expected investment returns been higher.
It is a great day to be all in. And a Beloiter
From here at Chapin’s desk,
President Scott Bierman