Kalamazoo College Community Impact Report

With the generous support of our community of stakeholders, Kalamazoo College invests strongly in our students because 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 intellectual and intercultural skills needed to be conscientious neighbors and empowered employees.

Meet our Hornets

33% students of color
22% first-generation students
1,369 students
24% Pell Grant recipients
98% receive financial aid

The College is proud of our socioeconomically, racially and geographically diverse student body, boasting nearly 1,400 students across 37 states and 28 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 is at the heart of a K education, and our corporate and non-profit partners help make our community-based courses possible. In partnership with Sleeping Giant Capital, a Kalamazoo investment firm, and Western Michigan University, K students served as business consultants to a local construction and development firm in their business and economics class this year.

Working in project groups, students directly applied lessons to real-world situations with personalized guidance from their professors and other business experts. This unique collaboration with WMU and Sleeping Giant Capital prepared these students to lead, excel in project-based work and create value for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Offering a World-Class Education

K students in New Orleans

Thanks to a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the College’s Humanities Integrated Locational Learning (HILL) project has provided students with more experiential learning opportunities. The HILL project funds classes that address racism, economic disparity, global warming and other pressing issues through community-based work in Kalamazoo and other U.S. cities.

For example, the HILL project enabled a group of students to travel to New Orleans and learn about the city’s history, social justice initiatives, and rebuilding efforts by working with local nonprofits on city restoration and public art projects.

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 and education projects with the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE). 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 $57.2 million in January of 2023, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, we anticipate the College’s economic impact to be greater now as the College employs an additional 119 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—both 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 teaches students how to properly steward land. 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. 

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