Kalamazoo College Community Impact Report

With the generous support of our community of stakeholders, Kalamazoo College invests strongly in our students. We know that a four-year investment in their success will turn into a lifetime of dividends as they share their economic, intellectual and human capital.

At K, our mission is to prepare our graduates to better understand, live successfully within, and provide enlightened leadership to a richly diverse and increasingly complex world. We impart these skills through the K-Plan, a highly personalized academic journey that comprises excellent academics, experiential learning, study abroad and independent scholarship. These core experiences prepare our graduates with the knowledge and intercultural skills needed to be conscientious neighbors.

Meet our Hornets

22% first-generation students
24% Pell Grant recipients
98% receive financial aid

The College is proud of our socioeconomically, racially and geographically diverse student body, boasting nearly 1,378 students across 38 states and 32 countries—with an alumni base that spans even wider! 

While our Hornets hail from all over the nation and globe, they call Kalamazoo home for the duration of their undergraduate career, living, learning, working, and investing in the local community.

See Your Support in Action

Providing Real-World Experiences

K student presenting

Experiential learning, which is at the heart of a K education, is enhanced by corporate and non-profit partnerships. Through a collaboration with Sleeping Giant Capital, a Kalamazoo investment firm, and Western Michigan University, K students served as business consultants for a local construction and development firm in their business and economics classes this year. Students, guided by professors and business experts, gained practical experience applying their lessons to real situations. This unique collaboration prepared them to excel in project-based work and contribute value to local businesses.

Setting the Foundation for Success

K student looking in a microscope

As a residential college, K is committed to nurturing a community of scholars through hands-on, experiential education. This commitment is made possible by the College’s partners, who contribute to the upkeep of our campus and facilities.

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation’s recent $2 million grant to enhance our science facilities and electrical grid truly exemplifies the College’s ideals and continues the Foundation’s strong legacy of philanthropy towards higher education and Kalamazoo College.

Finding Students’ Passions

Moises Hernandez with his wife and son at Stetson Chapel

Kalamazoo College collaborates with the Posse Foundation to provide full-ride scholarships, with programming support from our partners at PNC Bank, to bring students from Los Angeles to K.

This program has greatly enriched our campus by bringing students like Moises Hernandez ‘17 to K. Deeply passionate about social justice, Moises worked on youth development projects with the Center for Civic Engagement. After graduation, Moises continued this work for several years as the assistant director for the CCE. We are proud to see him continue to grow his career at The Kalamazoo Promise. 

Geographically Diverse, Locally Invested

Kalamazoo College’s Economic Impact 

Kalamazoo College circulates millions of dollars into the Kalamazoo community each year, positively impacting the local economy.

According to a 2010–2011 report by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, K contributed $32 million dollars to the Kalamazoo economy annually. Notably, the College spent $19.6 million in payroll, $3.6 million in student spending, $2 million in out-of-area visitors and an additional $6 million in indirect expenditures due to the College’s presence. 

Adjusted for inflation, $32 million in January of 2011 would roughly equal $44.8 million in January of 2024, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, we anticipate the College’s economic impact to be greater now as the College employs over 100 additional workers. 

Building and Sustaining Community

While on campus, our students actively integrate themselves into their new home. Facilitating community partnerships, several offices at the College connect students with local businesses, schools, governments, non-profits, artists and activists. 

These partnerships offer a symbiotic relationship in which our students and community partners get to work with and learn from one another. 

Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Center for Civic Engagement (CCE)  

From tutoring students in local schools to working on immigrant rights projects, most students engage with the CCE at least once during their four years. Notably, the CCE pairs students with over 45 community partners through their 13 student-led programs, 20-plus community-based courses and 25 paid community building internships. 

Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership 

The College maintains strong connections with advocacy groups and activists— local, national and international—through the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. At Arcus, students are trained how to plan, create and implement social justice work on and off campus.  

The Larry J. Bell ‘80 Environmental Stewardship Center (ESC) 

Helping to improve the College and city’s environmental footprint, the ESC infuses sustainability and environmental themes across the curriculum and increases opportunities for students to conduct mentored research and community programming. Notably, the College maintains the Lillian Anderson Arboretum, which serves as a 140-acre living laboratory and trail—open to community members and students alike.   

Staying Local

The intellectual capital we foster funnels directly back into Kalamazoo as our alumni go on to work at local companies, such as Stryker, Whirlpool and Pfizer and at non-profits like the Kalamazoo Nature Center and Ministry with Community. In fact, more than 50 students from the class of 2022 have remained in the Kalamazoo area. 

The College acknowledges that it was built on the land of the Council of the Three Fires—the Ojibwe, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi—and recognizes the enduring relationship that exists between the People of the Three Fires and this land.  

Our Partners

At Kalamazoo College, we embrace our motto—More in Four. More in a Lifetime.—by offering students more opportunities to explore, more mentorship and support, and more preparation for meaningful careers that make a positive impact on the world. 

Thank you to our partners who have generously made these opportunities and a K education possible for our students. 

Hearst Foundations
Irving S GIlmore Foundation
Michigan Arts & Culture Council logo
SAGA Foundation logo
Stryker logo

The Burdick-Thorne Foundation

The H.P. and Genevieve Connable Fund

Dorthy U. Dalton Foundation

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation

Suzanne Upjohn DeLano Parish Foundation

The Thomas A. Todd Foundation

The W.S. and Lois VanDalson Foundation

Tyler-Little Family Foundation

ENNA Foundation

Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation

Want to support our Hornets? Contact Maria Newhouse, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, at 269.337.7297 or at maria.newhouse@kzoo.edu.