The root meaning of philanthropy is love of humankind, and it is philanthropy that will power the entire operation of Kalamazoo College from this April 6 to the end of the term. That day, Tuition Freedom Day, marks an important divide in the funding of the Kalamazoo College learning experience. In any given academic year, the costs of all that has transpired before Tuition Freedom Day were covered by tuition; what comes after is covered by gifts to Kalamazoo College.
Tuition covers about 76 percent of the costs of a K education, according to Laurel Palmer, director of the Kalamazoo College Fund. “Tuition Freedom Day is a symbolic day marking the point in the academic year when tuition stops paying for a student’s education and support from donors takes over.” Even more important, the day “is an annual gratitude event to celebrate K’s generous donors,” added Laurel. “Their gifts make a K education possible.” During Kalamazoo College’s last fiscal year, alumni, parents and friends of the College gave more than $2 million to the Kalamazoo College Fund.
On April 6, the College’s fifth annual Tuition Freedom Day, “our goal is to have students write 750 thank-you notes,” says Laurel, “which will be mailed to alumni, parents and friends who gave to the Kalamazoo College Fund in support of scholarships, faculty excellence and the College’s greatest needs.”