The Jewell Fund: what it is and what it has to do with you

The Jewell Giving Fund is an annual fund that is supported by donations from alumni, parents of students, staff, foundations and corporations. The purpose of the fund is to support areas of the College that are most in need. Most years, this typically includes library resources, computer labs, faculty development and student scholarships.

For many, a college education is not affordable without some financial aid. Because of rising costs, getting a post-secondary education has become less and less accessible to those who cannot afford it. This is where the Jewell Fund steps in. In 2012, the College determined that scholarships needed the most improvement on campus. Since then, Jewell Fund has been primarily a scholarship foundation for students.

To help raise money for the Jewell Fund, which is completely donor-funded, the Office of Institutional Advancement asks seniors to participate in a senior campaign. The purpose of the campaign was started in 2006 to encourage the seniors’ classmates to pledge donations. As recent graduates, it is not necessarily about the amount pledged so much as the general willingness to pledge.

However, the senior giving campaign is not the only fundraising aspect for the Jewell Fund. Other initiatives and events, such as the John Priest Greene Society and the Achievement Day Dinner, also provide funds for the organization. In addition, the Office of Institutional Advancement also uses call centers and mail campaigns to encourage graduates to donate.

“All alumni gifts help William Jewell join the ranks of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges,” said Laura Hanavan, the annual giving coordinator for The Jewell Fund. Hanavan has also found that alumni that begin to give earlier are more likely to continue giving gifts and making pledges.

“Like many nonprofits, Jewell relies on those closest to us for support,” said Hanavan.

Nominations for the Senior Committee are solicited from staff and faculty members. Seniors that are especially interested in serving on the committee may self-nominate as well. If you are a member of the Class of 2015 and would like to join the Senior Committee’s efforts, contact Laura Hanavan at


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