by Kandace Kohr
There is power in consistency, and generous Dickinson donors prove that year in and year out. The Mermaid Society recognizes donors who consistently support the college by making a gift to Dickinson each year, and now alumni, parents and friends of the college can instantly become a member of the Mermaid Society by giving through automatic monthly deduction or making a multiyear pledge.
Now in its 15th year, the Mermaid Society is made up of more than 5,000 members. During the 2016-17 fiscal year alone, they accounted for $6.1 million in funding to the college. In the past, donors could acquire the title of “mermaid” by making a gift for three or more consecutive years. Now, by extending the membership to automatic monthly deduction and multiyear pledge donors, the college hopes to highlight the generosity and dedication of its most consistent donors even more.
Mermaid Society members impact the Dickinson experience by keeping class sizes small, helping to provide scholarship opportunities to over 1,000 students, supplying additional equipment and training to student-athletes and in countless other ways. For many mermaids like Sally Schott ’83, who has lent her support for 33 years, giving back to a place that provided so much is only right.
"In many ways I feel that giving to Dickinson year after year helps me stay connected to a place that did so much to shape me as a person," she says. "And I like to think that my small contributions, combined with those of many, many other loyal alums, helps to offer today's students even better opportunities than I had at Dickinson.”
From the moment they enter our limestone walls, students benefit from the loyalty of Dickinson's mermaids. Julie Salsitz Davi ’94 and Mike Davi ’95 have given for 22 consecutive years in preparation for the next generation of Dickinsonians—which now includes their daughter, Ainslie, who will join the class of 2022 in the fall.
“Dickinson has meant such a great deal to Julie and me. We were both very active in what the school offered, from academics to athletics to studying abroad," says Mike. "We’ve built long lasting friendships. Most importantly for me, I met Julie and we’ve been very happily married for nearly 22 years. We give because of what Dickinson has given to us all of those years ago. And I want to provide other young people the same opportunities that I had since my predecessors were generous.”
Published February 7, 2018