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The Radcliffe College Fund has passed the half-way mark in its attempt to reach a 1977 fundraising goal of $500,000 and the number of alumnae contributing to the Fund also has risen, Fund officials said yesterday.
The Fund has raised $34,000 more this year than it had by March 1976, bringing this year's winter total to $312,000, Hope W. Wigglesworth '48, director of the Fund, said yesterday.
The Fund contributes the money it raises to undergraduate financial aid programs. The money also helps cover Radcliffe's operating expenses, Wigglesworth said.
Although the Harvard and Radcliffe financial aid offices merged last year, "Radcliffe alumnae still have a responsibility to provide financial aid" for Radcliffe students, she said.
Some alumnae are reluctant to give to the Fund since they feel that Harvard is absorbing Radcliffe, but most alumnae still believe that "Radcliffe has a purpose and will maintain itself," Susan Patterson Harding '64, co-chairman of the Radcliffe Fund Committee, said yesterday.
Women's increasingly active involvement in the professions may counteract any negative feelings about Radcliffe's "loss of identity," Harding said.
Professional women "will have money of their own and in sufficient quantities" that the Fund can tap if it retains alumnae "loyalty and support," she added.
Lack of Resources
Although Radcliffe alumnae frequently lack the economic resources of their Harvard counterparts, the Fund continued to grow even during the recession of the early '70s, Wigglesworth said.
"The amount of gift money collected by the Fund has risen steadily even though inflation means there are no great leaps in real dollar terms," Harding said. But the number of alumnae contributing to the annual drives fluctuates, she added.
A few years ago, 41 or 42 per cent of the alumnae contributed to the Fund, but the participation level dropped several percentage points during the last two years, she said.
More than 3000 alumnae have already contributed to this year's drive, 116 more than last year's March figure, and the participation level should rise by June when most of the gifts come in, Wigglesworth said.
Although increased participation is one of the Fund's goals, "major gifts are important too," Wigglesworth said
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