Chronicle of Higher Education highlights remarkable giving rate of Centre parents
May 19, 2011 By Leigh Cocanougher
their high rates of giving to the College, often feel as much pride
during Centre commencement ceremonies as their children do.
The Centre Parent Fund has provided everything from new
microscopes to a lounge area in the library to the Campus Center
game room (above).
Centre College alumni have long been known for their extraordinarily high rate of annual giving. And for the past several years, Centre parents have also been making a name for themselves by contributing—in increasing amounts—to the College. During the last fiscal year, in fact, parent giving was 54 percent, a number that Shawn Lyons ’81, associate vice president for development and alumni affairs, says “is a sign that we’re doing something right.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education agrees, highlighting Centre’s high rate of parent giving in a May 15 article that discussed the growing trend of parental donations at schools around the country.
“The trend is significant for two reasons,” the article reports. “An increase in parental giving is a selling point for other donors, because it demonstrates a high rate of satisfaction with the institution…[and] the rise in giving by parents also demonstrates the increasingly active role they are taking in their children's education.”
Within the past five years, the article continues, Centre has increased the numbers of parent gifts by including Centre parents in the annual Phonathons, sending personalized letters to parents and forming a parent-fund committee to decide how parents’ donations are spent. And Centre parents have been eager to respond.
“Centre parents enjoy their four-year association with the College almost as much as their students do,” says Mona Wyatt, director of parent programs and donor relations. “As an important part of the Centre family, they, too, are able to develop friendships and have fun experiences with other parents at sporting events, concerts, art shows, academic presentations and Norton Center events. And they seem just as sad to be leaving at commencement as their students are.”
Lyons told the Chronicle that by donating to the College, parents are endorsing Centre as it is now rather than as it was when alumni were in college. “With alumni, they’re satisfied with an experience from maybe 50 years ago,” he says, adding that parent donations “are a pretty powerful endorsement.”
To learn more about how Centre parents help transform the College into an even more remarkable institution, click here.