In honor of Denison’s founding year, the 1831 Society recognizes alumni, parents, and friends whose lifetime giving of $1 million or more has made an extraordinary impact on the College.
Every donor makes a difference in the lives of students at Denison University. Generous donors who invest in a Denison education at a giving- society level understand that private support unlocks the potential of our students, allowing them to become the architects of their own lives.
Members of our giving societies serve as partners and investors of the institution, helping to build a foundation of success.
Please review the information below for more information on our giving societies. Thank you for your support!
Richard Temple was the first black man to graduate from Denison. He graduated in 1884, less than 20 years after the Civil War ended. Your support of Denison strengthens our ability to sustain students who are “firsts” from all kinds of backgrounds.
In 1899, Grace Lyon was the first woman to graduate from Denison. Her education was possible thanks to funding by John D. Rockefeller, a member of Denison’s Board of Trustees. Your support of Denison connects you to a long line of philanthropists, like Rockefeller, who believe in the power of a liberal arts education
Blair Knapp was Denison’s 14th President. He believed in his students’ talents, and expected them to persevere to fulfill their potential. Your support of Denison strengthens our ability to sustain educators who, like President Knapp, are committed to excellence across the liberal arts and sciences.
Denison benefactor Eliam Barney was an educator and an entrepreneur. He established an academy in Dayton, and he built and operated a successful sawmill. Your support of Denison strengthens our ability to sustain students who, like Eliam Barney, are lifelong learners and entrepreneurs.
Denison benefactor Ambrose Swasey was a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He invented astronomical instruments and designed some of the most powerful and accurate telescopes of his day. Your support of Denison strengthens our ability to sustain people who, like Ambrose Swasey, are committed to excellence across the arts and sciences.
Denison benefactor William Doane held more than 70 patents and composed several hundred hymns. He is a fine example of how the scope of life is elevated by the liberal arts. Your support of Denison strengthens our ability to sustain students whose lives will rise above the ordinary.
In 1906, Bessie Jones was the first black woman to graduate from Denison. Your support of Denison strengthens our ability to sustain students who are “firsts” from all kinds of backgrounds.
Recognizes young alumni one to four years out who give $250 or more, and graduates five to nine years out who give $500 or more. The Big Red Society recognizes student donors of any amount.
The Harris-Tight-Huffman Society honors alumni and friends of Denison who have included the College in their estate or other deferred gift plans. The Society is named in honor of three distinguished Denisonians from the early 20th century: Dr. Laura C. Harris ’16, Dexter J. Tight ’12, and William P. Huffman ’11. These individuals were outstanding leaders in their professional lives and their planned gifts ensured the long-term well-being of Denison.