By MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
Thirty years after their graduation, Dickinson’s class of 1992 celebrated a milestone reunion year in a spectacular way. In the weeks leading up to, during and after the 2022 Alumni Weekend, a core group of volunteers rallied their classmates with a challenge to break the mold with their 2022 gift.
And break it they did, with a record percentage of the class answering the call.
While the final numbers are yet to be officially announced, it’s safe to say that the class of ’92 achieved at least a 59.4% participation rate and contributed more than $600,000 toward its 30th-reunion class gift. That’s an amazing turnout for a class-gift drive, in which 50% participation is considered a triumph. It also easily breaks Dickinson’s previous record of participation for a 30-year reunion (57.5%), a distinction enjoyed for two decades by the class of 1971.
Sixteen volunteers on the 1992 30th reunion committee helped spread the word of the class-gift drive during the past year, as they planned their 2022 reunion celebration. They posted on social media, including the class’ official Facebook page, and called and sent emails and texts to classmates, often tag-teaming to help reach as many as possible before the end of the fiscal year.
The class of '92’s Rolf Ackermann, Holcombe Green III and Steve Smith then raised the stakes—and the excitement—with matching gifts that helped each contribution go further. That included a challenge for gifts in memory of Matt Baker ’92, who passed in 2003.
Asked how they achieved these results, longtime volunteer Kirsten Nixa Sabia ’92 said, “We have a close class that has only grown closer through our reunions,” noting that the close friendships made in first-year dorms, Dickinson clubs and organizations and academic departments provided a solid foundation. “Our success as a reunion class can also be attributed to Anna Evanek, associate director of the Dickinson Fund and class giving. She was the glue to keeping our team organized, talking and working.”
Evanek, in turn, pointed to the volunteers’ hard work, passion and drive as the key, explaining that while the college typically asks class-gift volunteers to reach out to a handful of people throughout the year, the alumni volunteers went above and beyond that ask.
“The committee worked tirelessly all year long to shatter their initial fundraising goals, and they were determined to beat the participation giving record for a 30th, which they did in stride,” she said. “The class participation will help enhance the college’s rankings, and the dollars raised will make a tremendous difference for Dickinson students for years to come.”
As Sabia noted, the class of '92 is not resting on its laurels. The core group of 1992 class-gift volunteers is already growing in anticipation of the class’ 35-year drive. They have no intention of slowing the momentum, so when next year’s 30th reunion rolls around, the class of ’92 will be the ones to beat.
“We hope this will inspire the classes following us to beat that record,” said Sarah Raley, another devoted class of ’92 30th-reunion and class-gift volunteer. “We have already thrown down the gauntlet in the class of '93 Facebook group with a challenge to beat our reunion attendance. The challenge to beat that almost 60% participation of giving is up next!”
Learn about how Dickinson shattered its 2022 Day of Giving Goal.
Published July 7, 2022