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2021 Report on Philanthropy

John Jones

Dear Dickinsonians,

This year’s Report on Philanthropy is special to me not only because it’s my first as Dickinson’s interim president but also because it gives me a chance to highlight Dickinson’s Campaign for Scholarships: Change a Life—Change the World, which we kicked off in November. As the first major initiative in the Dickinson Forward project, this effort to provide a scholarship for every student who needs one will be vital to the future of the college, our students and the world they shape.

I know that as one of the college’s most dedicated donors you are deeply invested in this college. Accordingly, you know that to remain true to our founding principles of equity and opportunity, we must continue to prepare future global leaders from all walks of life, regardless of their families’ financial situations. And that means we must do everything we can to keep this priceless education affordable.

Through this effort, we are committing to raising $75 million to ensure that we provide sufficient aid to meet the full demonstrated need for every student we admit. This is the largest financial-aid fundraising initiative in the college’s history, and its goal is a game changer: to ensure financial constraints never prevent potential Dickinsonians from experiencing this life-changing education.

As you review the financial information, student voices and donor profiles detailed in this report, you will see that we are in a great position to take on this challenge. To be sure, we’ve set a lofty goal for ourselves, but Dickinson is a world-class institution worthy of such a goal. And I’m excited to announce that several lead donors have already stepped up to commit $35 million to this campaign. Sam Rose ’58 has given an additional $12.75 million to his endowed scholarship to help us kick off the effort. That gift will double the impact of a transformational scholarship fund that has already changed the lives of hundreds of students—and thousands more if you consider all the lives those students have changed.

In addition to Sam’s gift, I also hope you saw the recent announcement of the Reynolds Leadership Scholar Program that George and Jennifer Ward Reynolds ’77 created to help us kick off this campaign. If you haven’t seen the announcement, you can read all about this new scholarship—and Jennifer and George’s motivation behind it—in this report. This program, which offers scholarships to high-achieving students from Maryland, Jennifer’s home state, is a new scholarship model that we hope to replicate around the country—and around the world.

I want to thank Sam, George and Jennifer, all of our other leadership campaign donors, and—of course—you for your support of the college. I hope that as you read through this report, you can see the full impact of your gift to the college. Beyond the financial information that should make you feel good about your investment in the college, I hope you see the life-changing and world-changing power your philanthropy has at Dickinson and through Dickinson.

This double impact that every gift has is why we are launching this scholarship campaign with one simple—but powerful—directive to our donor community: Change a life—change the world. Everyone who invests in this effort will change a student’s life by providing this transformational experience to someone who couldn’t afford it without your help. But every donor will also change the world, because Dickinson graduates don’t keep the benefits of this education to themselves.

They become the doctors and scientists fighting disease; the entrepreneurs and business leaders solving problems and creating jobs; the nonprofit leaders, lawyers—and even the judges—creating a more just and equitable world; the artists, teachers and performers who move us, inspire us and help us understand the world. They join you and all the other Dickinsonians out there making a difference every day.

This campaign also presents a great opportunity for creative co-innovation with committed partners like you. College affordability and growing wealth disparity are the kinds of challenges that call for inventive, collaborative, cross-disciplinary thinking. Thankfully, that’s the kind of thinking Dickinsonians do best. So as we launch this campaign, we’re also asking you, what are your ideas for scholarship support? Maybe you want to launch a scholarship for students from your home state like Jennifer and George Reynolds. Maybe you have a different idea—something we haven’t even thought of yet. We want to hear from you. Just as we did with the Revolutionary Challenge, we’re looking to collaborate with you as we reach this goal together.

In fact, we’re already in discussions with some alumni, faculty and staff about launching several student success initiatives as part of Dickinson Forward—because we know that getting here is not the end of the journey. It’s the beginning.

Providing financial aid and scholarships is only the first step. There are also all of the steps that prepare students to walk down Old West’s old stone steps four years later—internships, study abroad, student-faculty research, student wellness initiatives, advising and career preparation. We’ll be talking more about how we can enhance all of these things that make Dickinson the life-changing place that it is, and I hope you’ll join in those conversations.

As we move Dickinson forward, I look forward to reporting our progress on the scholarship campaign, and I look forward to announcing other opportunities to create an environment of sustained student success here. You can learn more and follow the campaign’s progress at, and please, if you have questions or ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

This is an exciting time for Dickinson. I’m deeply grateful for your support of Dickinson, and I invite you to deepen your commitment and connection to the college throughout this campaign. I look forward to working with you to change more lives and change the world together.

John E. Jones III ’77, P’11, President

Endowment Report

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Dickinson’s pooled endowment (the portion managed by the college’s outsourced investment office, Investure LLC) closed the 2021 fiscal year at $546.6 million, and Dickinson’s total endowment closed the fiscal year at $636.4 million. The pooled investments experienced an impressive 38.8% rate of return due to last year’s extraordinary stock market performance.

Though this high rate is worth celebrating, it’s important to note that outstanding short-term market performance like this is often followed by a downward correction. This is why Dickinson’s endowment is consistently managed for long-term growth.

The key statistics we look toward to measure this long-term growth are the 10-year average annual return and how that compares to the rate of spending from the endowment plus inflation as well as our passive benchmark, which is based on a basket of varied, widely held securities. Learn more.

Donor Stories

A Letter From Carlo Robustelli, Vice President for College Advancement

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Dear Dickinsonians,

Thank you for choosing to change lives and change the world through Dickinson. By providing foundational support through your philanthropy, you partner with the college to prepare future leaders and engaged citizens.

One of Dickinson’s key roles in this partnership is the sound financial management outlined in this report, but another is providing opportunities for co-innovation with our donors. Having launched the Dickinson Forward initiative this summer, we are actively working with the wider Dickinson community of alumni, parents and friends to collaborate on bold new initiatives for the college and the future.

After kicking off the first of these initiatives, the Campaign for Scholarships: Change a Life—Change the World, this fall, we’re asking Dickinsonians not only to support this historic effort but also to share your ideas for new models of scholarships and financial aid at the college. The Reynolds Leadership Scholarship established by George and Jennifer Ward Reynolds ’77 provides an excellent example of this.

George and Jennifer wanted to find a way to impact young potential leaders in their community while enhancing the college’s recruiting efforts in their home state. After discussions with college staff on the best way to do this, George and Jennifer worked with Dickinson to launch this new cohort scholarship model, and now it’s something we hope we can
replicate in other areas.

This spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration have long been part of the Dickinson student experience, and now it’s something we’re more deliberately trying to make a central part of the Dickinson philanthropic experience.

When we work with donors, we’re not simply looking to take your gift and fit it in with our priorities. Rather, we’re looking to discover your goals for the college and your passions for making an impact on the world. Then, we want to innovate with you on ways Dickinson can realize your goals and passions through your philanthropy.

This approach is already bearing fruit in new programs like data analytics and the developing FARM Lab project—both of which came out of the Revolutionary Challenge. We’re also already collaborating with several alumni, staff and faculty on new student-success initiatives—programs and strategies to enhance internships, study-abroad, student-faculty research and all of the many experiences that make Dickinson the lifechanging place it is.

I’m excited about what these discussions will mean for the future of Dickinson, and I’d like to invite you to be a part of them. Please, if you have any thoughts about new ways of changing lives or changing the world through Dickinson, don’t hesitate to reach out by calling 800-543-3809 or Thank you again for your support and your partnership with the college.


Carlo Robustelli, Vice President for College Advancement