background image of campus

A Resounding Endorsement

What began as a daring call to lift up Conn’s excellence for all to see became a vote of community-wide confidence in the College and its role in the future of our society.

of our goal raised

With your support, we defied all expectations and sailed past our audacious $300 million goal — a full year ahead of schedule — to affirm the College’s enduring commitment to student and faculty excellence, to the sustainability of our beloved campus, and to the promise of an exceptional Connecticut College education.

Total funds raised
Number of days the campaign finished ahead of schedule (1 year!)

Total donors
Donors who gave $25,000 or more to the campaign
Donors who gave $1,000,000 or more to the campaign
Total raised for endowment
Total raised for capital projects & facilities
Total raised for scholarships & financial aid

Total added to financial aid endowment through the Hale Scholarship Challenge
Total support for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Growth of the Annual Fund during the campaign
Committed bequest intention total
Teaching and Learning

Leaning into the Transformational Power of the Liberal Arts

Teaching, research, and the creation of new learning across the disciplines form the bedrock of Conn’s mission. This campaign raised $64 million to support interdisciplinary scholarship, the arts, global education, faculty and student research, academic resources for student success, and the College’s bold new curriculum, Connections.

Equity and Inclusion

Committing to Differences through Substantive Engagement

Conn is committed to nourishing an environment of full participation, where every member of the community can thrive, reach their full potential, and flourish. This campaign brought $22 million in new and endowed resources for our Division of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, and $46 million in new financial aid.

Student Life and Athletics

Laying the Groundwork to Lead Society

We know that learning takes place everywhere, in classrooms and coffee shops, in residence halls and playing fields, sharing meals and stories and adventures. This campaign raised more than $66 million to enhance the experience of our beautiful arboretum and waterfront campus, funding both current and future renovations.

Career Preparation

Placing the Tools of Success Within Reach of All

Preparing students for meaningful lives after college is central to our mission of putting the liberal arts into action. $19 million in gifts to this campaign have allowed us to open a state-of-the-art career center, expand internship opportunities, and create new courses and programs to help our students to step confidently into the world.


Planning for the Best Use of Our Resources

Connecticut College has a deep history of environmental leadership. This campaign has built on that legacy, providing support for new sustainability fellowships, and a host of new initiatives leading to the College’s first Gold STAR rating in sustainability, awarded to just 15% of colleges and universities in the country.

Financial Strength

Rallying for Conn’s Long-term Stability

Our donors contributed an astounding $153 million to endowment through gifts, pledges, and bequest intentions, lifting the current value of Conn’s endowment by 80% since 2015, to fund scholarships, faculty excellence, and innovative programs in perpetuity. Many also made commitments to support the future of the College through their estate plans.

students gathered around a table

Producing Citizens of a Global Society

The Walter Commons for Global Study & Engagement, made possible by $7.6 million in transformative gifts from private foundations and generous donors like Trustee Emerita Susan Lynch ’62, has accelerated the growth of international programs.  And, with the emphasis on expanding access, students from all backgrounds and academic majors are able to incorporate global learning into their college journey.

The Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement, made possible by $7.6 million in transformative gifts from private foundations and generous donors like Trustee Emerita Susan Lynch ’62, has accelerated the growth of global learning opportunities for students from all backgrounds.

Additional gifts received through this Campaign have supported continuing innovation in global education at Conn. Thanks to the Diane Bessell ’59 Endowed Fund for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development, a new program introduces students to the U.N. sustainable development goals framework and matches them with international organizations focused on pressing 21st-century challenges, from the global refugee crisis to climate change. To date, 24 Conn students have acquired new knowledge, perspectives, and practical skills through internships abroad and further enriched sustainability work on campus.

Resources now available in the Walter Commons help fuel the innovative international teaching and research of our faculty. Since 2018, language professors have introduced courses that prepare students with skills for the workplace and more than 20 new courses and projects involving collaboration with Conn's global partners have been launched, including a popular new summer program in South Africa for STEM students.

Enhanced support for international fellowships in the Walter Commons have yielded a record success, with more and more historically underrepresented and first-generation students applying for – and winning! – more prestigious awards than ever before.


International fellowship awards since 2018, including the College’s first Marshall Scholar, attributable to expanded opportunities for global learning and excellent advising

“My internship

helped me discover my passion for environmental conservation through policymaking. It was an amazing opportunity for a sociology major who plans to build a career in the realm of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.”

-Olha Vasyliv ’23, Bessell Fellow, on her internship with the Bipartisan Caucus Bezzaive for Sustainable Development in Ukraine.

photo of a dock overlooking water

Elevating Camel Athletics: One Team, One Camel, The Power of Many

The 2019 Action Plan for Competitive Success outlined the actions necessary to make Camel athletics more competitive: elevating the student-athlete experience, investing in coaching and recruiting excellence, and enhancing our athletic facilities. More than $36 million was raised for these initiatives.

Our scholar-athlete experience offers students the opportunity to be part of a rigorous intellectual community with a distinctive curriculum while also playing in the NESCAC, one of the most competitive Division III conferences in the country. Strong athletic teams are as vital for admissions as they are for the education of the whole person, developing many of the skills associated with leadership: collaboration, focus, tenacity, execution and, above all, resiliency.

Throughout this Campaign, we invested as never before in the opportunities that an excellent athletics program makes possible. Since its inception in 2019, the Camel Athletics Fund has increased the annual support for Camel Athletics by 76%. Donors have given nearly 4,800 gifts totaling $2.6 million to support equipment purchases, strength and conditioning, health and wellness, team uniforms, coaching and recruiting tools, professional development for coaches, leadership education for athletes and team travel. Annual support from the endowment for athletics has increased by $825,000, allowing the College to hire and retain nearly a dozen full-time assistant coaches and expand programming and recruiting efforts.

The Waterfront Revitalization Project, made possible by leadership gifts from champion rower and Athletic Hall of Fame member Jessica Archibald ’95 and Emeritus Trustee Barbara Zaccheo Kohn ’72, has reignited myriad possibilities for the campus and community. The new docks, roadway, lighting, and acres of revitalized waterfront property provide a first-rate athletic facility for the sailing and rowing programs, an outdoor classroom and living laboratory for marine science, environmental research and conservation, an expedition training area for Conn’s Outdoor Adventures program and a vibrant recreational space for students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

“When one Camel

succeeds, we all succeed. It is our responsibility to uplift and hold each other accountable so that we all perform to our greatest ability.” 

-Christopher Verstandig ’23
Captain, Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field

Increase in annual support from endowment to bolster coaching, recruiting and program excellence





students throwing caps at graduation

Igniting Possibilities That Last

Rob ’88 and Karen Hale P’20 launched the Hale Legacy Initiative to inspire new planned gifts as they challenged fellow donors to match their $15 million bequest intention.

Karen and Rob Hale initiated an extraordinary legacy challenge in honor of President Emerita Katherine Bergeron. If the College could document $15 million in new bequest intentions by June 30, 2023, Rob and Karen offered to double that giving and all it would mean for the College, our students and our future, with a matching legacy gift of $15 million—resulting in total future commitments to the College of $30 million. 

The response from the Conn community was overwhelming, resulting in a total of $46 million in bequest intentions in just 60 days. “Karen and I deeply admire how much Katherine did for Conn across her decade of devoted service and we wanted to honor her in a special way that would strengthen this great College and advance all the important work she did for it,” said Rob, who was co-chair of the Defy Boundaries Campaign and a former member of the Board of Trustees.

The Hales had already contributed more than $50 million to the College through the Defy Boundaries campaign in support of campus infrastructure, career education, athletics, and financial aid. Their commitment of $20 million in new endowment for financial aid eventually inspired many more members of the Conn community to come forward with their own matching gifts, resulting in a total of $46 million in new resources for financial aid during the Defy Boundaries campaign.

These generous donors who answered the Hales’ call have joined a collective force which will benefit students, faculty and staff far into the future. Their commitment is an expression of faith that will drive educational excellence and human opportunity across decades and even centuries.

$81 million

Total raised in the final year of the Campaign–the most successful fundraising year in College history

$46 million

Total bequest intentions raised — in just 60 days — through The Hale Legacy Initiative, leading to the Campaign’s rousing conclusion

“I’ve made a bequest

of unrestricted funding because I believe that the College that could see the value of an investment in the young me will see the possibilities in the generations of young people who must now lead their families, professions, communities and country through another era of challenging times”

-Carol Ramsey ’74

performance on stage

Advancing Creative Research and Performance

The Athey Center for Performance and Research and the Stark Center for the Moving Image further strengthen the College’s preeminence in artistic creation and discovery and the countless ways they shape the mind and spirit.

Since the College’s inception, the visual and performing arts have been essential to the student experience and have earned Conn national and international prominence. Students explore creative work not only in terms of honing their craft but also in the broader scope of society and the world—putting the arts into action.

The nearly $24 million, two-year renovation of Palmer Auditorium was made possible by two extraordinary commitments: a $10 million grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, led by Trustee Emeritus Bonnie Himmelman '66, and a $10 million gift from Nancy Athey ’72 and her husband, Preston Athey, longtime supporters of the College and its programs. The creation of the new Athey Center for Performance and Research at Palmer Auditorium elevates the College’s reputation for educational and artistic innovation. This historically informed renovation adds classroom and collaboration space and improves upon the art deco architectural gem, with better egress, sightlines, acoustics, mechanical systems, and much more natural light.

With the establishment of the Stark Center for the Moving Image in the Liberal Arts, supported by a $1.5 million grant from the Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, the College has transformed the first floor of Hillyer Hall into a home for our thriving Film Studies Department. Once relegated to many disparate spaces across campus, the program now flourishes in this new facility, with more than 2,500 square feet of professional space for the creation, study, interpretation, and production of cinema, video, and film.

“With the establishment of the Stark Center for the Moving Image, Connecticut College is now a leader in filmmaking among our peers, placing us at the vanguard of liberal arts institutions.” — Ross Morin, Professor of Film Studies, Chair of Department of Film Studies


Portion of Conn students who have participated in a performing arts group or production

“Palmer Auditorium

has been a great collaborator and now it has renewed energy. It feels like it’s rising to the task of new collaboration and, actually, leading us to it.”

-David Dorfman ’81, Professor of Dance

athletes with a trpophy

Thank you

for helping Conn to shatter

On behalf of our incredible Campaign Co-Chairs Rob Hale ’88 P’20, Pamela D. Zilly ’75, and Bradford Brown P’12 ’15 ’20; our Campaign Committee members Jean Tempel ’65, Jonathan McBride ’92, Susan Lynch ’62, Barbara Kohn ’72 GP’24, Tom Sargent ’82 P’17, and Mary Lake Polan ’65 P’02 ’10; our Board of Trustees; and especially President Emerita Katherine Bergeron, whose energy and determination spurred all of us to shoot for the stars, we convey our heartfelt gratitude.