Alumni Satisfaction


Muhlenberg recently engaged the firm Wallace & Washburn to conduct an alumni survey. The overwhelming majority, 96%, are proud to be Muhlenberg graduates – an astonishing 10% higher than the firm has found at any other institution. Alumni note small class sizes, the warm, friendly atmosphere and faculty and staff who “go the extra mile.” In the survey, the most agreed-upon statements include: “I had an excellent academic experience at Muhlenberg,” “I had a great extracurricular experience” and “My Muhlenberg education enabled me to have a successful career.”


The same survey, however, paints a stark contrast when it comes to alumni giving. The Muhlenberg Fund participation rate, considered by many as a financial measure of alumni satisfaction, is stubbornly low – perplexing, given the high positive sentiment. The firm found that reasons for not giving included: “Supporting other charities that have greater need,” “Not sure where the money is going” and “My gift would be so small it wouldn’t matter.” Of course, this isn’t so: the alumni participation rate is a key factor when the College applies for grants and other outside funding.

In some respects, Muhlenberg appears to be a victim of its own success. A well-maintained campus, new facilities, record applications and balanced budgets all give the outward appearance of a financially flush college. In actuality, though, the picture is less robust. For years, Muhlenberg has done more with less – maximizing every dollar in the budget. But that approach has reached its limit. To do more now, the College simply needs more resources.