Then, Today, Tomorrow
1,946 minutes to make a difference
Inspired to Give
Alumni from the 1950s to 2021 are getting involved in the Challenge. Here are some of the ways and reasons a few recent graduates give back.
When we ask our community, “Are you up for the 1946 Challenge?” CMCers respond with ever-increasing enthusiasm, eager to support a wide range of opportunities for our students.
And, this year’s two-day challenge, which kicks off today, offers a confluence of celebrations: The founding of the College and our 75th Anniversary year.
What better time to honor our past, acknowledge the current moment, and inspire our future?
Launched four years ago in honor of the College’s founding, the 1946 Challenge has been more and more successful each year. While the aim is 1,946 donations in 1,946 minutes, last year 2,059 alumni, parents, and friends made a gift. The fundraising effort helped to supply equipment for students, such as technology and sports gear, and support for student opportunities, such as the Athenaeum or scholarships and financial aid.
Mark Schwartz ’78 volunteered to chair the Challenge because of his strong connection to the College. It’s been 43 years since he graduated from CMC, and he still gets emotional every time he sets foot on campus.
“I think about the wonderful experience I had there, the fantastic education, and the lifelong friendships that I made,” he said. “My CMC education has made all the difference in my life. Not everybody has an opportunity to get an education like the one you can get at CMC, for a whole host of reasons, obviously financial is one of them so I feel duty bound to give back in as meaningful a way and to encourage others to do the same.”
When he was asked to be honorary chair of the 1946 Challenge, Schwartz enthusiastically accepted. “I’ve got my CMC cap, my CMC T-shirt, my CMC water bottle. I’m ready!” he said recently on Zoom, ebullient about telling the story of why he gives back to CMC.
Schwartz hopes that more alumni and parents will get involved and share their reasons for giving back to encourage others to donate. “I’m a data-driven guy, so I really want to help encourage more donors than last year,” Schwartz said. “We’ve got the added energy of the 75th Anniversary to inspire the CMC community, and I know we can do it.”
Are you up for the Challenge? Visit our 1946 Challenge page for updates, more information, and to volunteer or donate.
Inspired to giveBack to story
Ryan Fahey ’10
Drumming up support: Last year CMS men’s soccer head coach Ryan Fahey ’10, along with assistant coach Stefan Gonzalez ’10, drummed up a ton of alumni support for the soccer team, helping to raise more than $50,000 in his first 1946 Challenge.
They created a phone tree, reaching out through the community. It definitely drove support, Fahey said, when a donor offered his own challenge: if 50 alumni gave, he’d contribute $20,000. Those funds helped pay for a new assistant coach, training equipment, and even meals for student-athletes, making a direct impact on the student experience. “We are so fortunate to have such support. I hope that all of our alumni feel that even though they’re maybe not competing on the field anymore, that they still feel part of a program, and that their success is our success, and our success is their success.”
Why he gives: “I think CMC is a special place, especially if you’re a student athlete — you get to challenge yourself academically to be the best student you can be, while also challenging yourself to be the best athlete you can be. My former coach really helped me understand that, and helped me grow up into a better person. That’s why I want to give back to the next generation of soccer players.”
Stephanie Doi ’17
Calling alumni friends: “I have been happy to support the 1946 Challenge by making yearly donations and encouraging my CMS swim and dive alumni friends to also make time and/or financial contributions to the Challenge.”
Why she gives: “CMC was my home away from home for four years and helped me to create lasting memories to reminisce about with a lasting community. I am so thankful to have been a scholar athlete, as it allowed me to have an incredibly holistic experience at CMC. I grew as a person, lifelong learner, teammate, and swimmer. It is my hope that all future student athletes have the ability to also thrive at CMC.”
Lisa Su ’97
Matching gifts: Last year, Su did a donation match for CMS softball to encourage past alumni to donate to the women’s softball team.
Why she gives: “I give back to CMC with my time and money because I loved being a student-athlete in Division III. We played not because we had to (scholarship or other reasons) but because we wanted to — for the love of playing. To this day, I’d say that making the choice to attend CMC was the best decision that I made because playing ball kept me engaged with my studies and with my classmates, and it was the best time of my life. I meet so many young athletes these days who think that they can’t play ball in college without sacrificing their academic goals, and I tell them they should play Division III if they want to be able to prioritize their academic life and still be able to enjoy the best of college athletics.”