A Campaign for Hampshire College
Jerome Liebling Atkins Apple Orchard.jpeg


UPDATE: A Letter to Our Donors.

"...I believe in Hampshire College, I believe our society needs Hampshire College now more than it ever has. I refuse to accept the idea that what we do no longer has a place or that students no longer need Hampshire. And I came here to do this epic work with you. We have to convince the world of our necessity and we have to build a Hampshire College that can thrive in that world and we start that today."
--First All-Campus Address by President Ed Wingenbach: September 3, 2019

When we last wrote, we reported that we at A Campaign for Hampshire had agreed to coordinate with the College in its ongoing fundraising efforts. We write today with that same message and with an even surer conviction that if we work together, Hampshire will emerge stronger and more vital than it has ever been.

We are relieved and excited about Hampshire’s new leadership team, beginning with President Ed Wingenbach, who comes to us with years of experience as a professor, dean, and college president. Ed gets Hampshire. He also grasps how serious our situation is. In his own thank you letter to each of you, Ed reminds us that, "The work that was done last spring didn’t save Hampshire College. It gave us the opportunity to save it and that’s the work we have to do now."

It was all of YOU who played a major role in making it possible to save Hampshire. Alums, parents, and friends of the College, you pledged your support to keep Hampshire alive as an independent, uniquely innovative institution. We thank each of you who has fulfilled the important pledge you made last spring—in part, in total, and in some cases above and beyond. Together we met the chaos and confusion that threatened Hampshire with determination and hope.

To ensure that Hampshire does more than survive—that it can and will thrive—Ed has hired Chief Advancement Officer Jennifer Chrisler, who returns to the Valley, having served as vice president of alumnae relations at Smith College before becoming vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Jenn, who steps into a rushing stream, brings a wealth of experience, fresh energy, and vision. In her letter to you, Jenn announces that the College "will soon launch the largest campaign in the College’s history... to move into our next 50 years."

As soon as this new effort is launched, we will be back in touch with you about how we can all be part of it.

You can hear from Ed and Jenn directly by reading their letters of welcome on our website and below.

With gratitude and stubborn hope,

Sarah Buttenwieser 81F
Ellen Fitzpatrick 70F
Patti Klindienst 71F
Dudley Merchant 73F
Nancy Nylen 70F
Jon Orleans 72F
Sig Roos 73F

for A Campaign for Hampshire College

Letter from President Ed Wingenbach

A Campaign for Hampshire College Supporters,

Nine months ago, I read the news that Hampshire College was looking to find a strategic partner and would not take a fall class. I was shocked. For me Hampshire has always represented the ideal of a liberal arts education, and the possibility that our most interesting and exciting college might no longer exist was profoundly unsettling. I was not alone in my distress – the decision was a topic of conversation and concern among most of my colleagues in higher education. We found it hard to believe, and heart-breaking, that Hampshire didn’t have the resources to survive.

So I was excited to see a group of Hampshire graduates, parents, and other supporters of the college organize to prove those resources did exist and show the world an independent future was viable. I was inspired to see a community stand up and insist that Hampshire’s value be recognized and its autonomy secured. I was impressed with the speed and professionalism of the effort.

You were not alone in asking hard questions and advocating for Hampshire’s future. But making the case for the college would not, itself, have been enough. By committing so much, so quickly, you made it clear that the community had both the will to save Hampshire, and the resources.

Thank you.

I asked for the opportunity to lead the college because I believe it is unique and essential. You worked hard to ensure there would be a Hampshire to lead. Together we face an immense challenge: saving Hampshire as an autonomous, experimenting, financially viable college requires an enormous expenditure of time, energy, and resources, analogous to the commitment required to build the college in the first place. We have little time to do it. But at least we have the opportunity.

This fall we are launching a coordinated effort to raise the funds needed to provide the bridge to a sustainable Hampshire, building upon the foundation of A Campaign for Hampshire College.

For fifty years, the Hampshire experiment has thrived, overcoming adversity and innovating in the face of challenges. Fifty years is not enough – our experiment must continue.

A Campaign for Hampshire College has given us that chance. I thank you. Our community thanks you. Future students thank you.

With gratitude,

Ed Wingenbach
President of Hampshire College

Letter from Chief Advancement Officer Jennifer Chrisler

Dear Supporters of A Campaign for Hampshire,

Thank you. Your extraordinary tenacity and generosity brought us where we are today, poised to build a vibrant and financially secure future for Hampshire. I’m grateful to join this impassioned and enthusiastic community of supporters.

Hampshire now must reinvigorate the core of the academic program, make a compelling case to prospective students, and inspire the philanthropists and foundations who have not yet come forward so that we can raise the funds necessary to sustain Hampshire through this transitional period.

As we face the awesome challenge of raising the necessary funds to move us from transition to transformation, I am encouraged knowing I can count on each of you to advocate on behalf of Hampshire. Your help spreading the word about how our alumni, friends, parents and supporters can be part of the next chapter in Hampshire’s history is vital to our success.

I hope you will stay involved with, and connected to, the planning work (hamp.it/launch) that is happening on campus right now. There are several upcoming in-person and online meetings that you can join:

Alumni, parents, and friends:

  • September 24 via Zoom: RSVP
  • September 25 via Zoom: RSVP

All students, staff, faculty, alums, friends, parents and trustees:

  • October 3: "Developing the Framework: Launch Sequence #3"
    4 – 6 p.m. EDT
    Red Barn
  • October 4: "Developing the Framework: Launch Sequence #3"
    9 – 11 a.m. EDT
    Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall

In order to achieve our ambitious fundraising goals and fuel our future aspirations, we will soon launch the largest campaign in the College’s history, focused on generating the operating support we will need to move into our next 50 years. I look forward to telling you more about this in the coming weeks.

As I begin my Hampshire journey, I am excited to partner with each of you to continue this great experiment.

Thank you,

Jennifer Chrisler
Chief Advancement Officer