Our Inner Circle of Top Donors
Since 1990, the President’s Council has recognized those donors who give most generously to Rutgers during a single fiscal year.
Through their contributions, the members of the President’s Council play a vital role in supporting the university and raising Rutgers’ profile among the finest public research universities.
Three tiers of membership in the President’s Council recognize distinct annual giving levels: the Hardenbergh Circle, the Frelinghuysen Circle, and the Demarest Circle.
The Hardenbergh Circle recognizes those who contribute $25,000 or more to Rutgers during a single fiscal year.
The circle is named for Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh, who persuaded King George III to found a college in New Jersey. Hardenbergh became Queen’s College’s first president in 1785, and the college prospered under his leadership. He is considered one of the university’s first fundraisers, as he was actively soliciting gifts for a new building on campus when he died in 1790.
The Frelinghuysen Circle recognizes alumni and friends who contribute $10,000 to $24,999 to Rutgers during a fiscal year.
The circle is named for Theodore Frelinghuysen, the attorney general of New Jersey, mayor of Newark, and a member of the U.S. Senate before serving as Rutgers’ seventh president. From 1850 to 1862, he led Rutgers while a deeply divided nation grappled with slavery and states’ rights. During Frelinghuysen’s presidency, enrollment at Rutgers doubled and Theological Hall was built to address overcrowding at Old Queen’s.
The Demarest Circle recognizes young alumni and friends who make substantial annual gifts to Rutgers. Membership in this circle is extended to:
- Alumni who graduated within the past 10 to 20 years (or friends between the ages of 30 and 40) who contribute $5,000 to $9,999 annually
- Alumni who graduated within the past five to nine years (or friends between the ages of 25 and 30) who contribute $2,500 to $9,999 annually
- Current students and alumni who graduated within the past four years (or friends under the age of 25) who contribute $1,000 to $9,999 annually
The circle is named for William Henry Steele Demarest, the university’s 11th president and its first alumnus in the role. During his tenure from 1906 to 1924, Rutgers began its transformation from a small liberal arts college to a comprehensive university. In 1918, the New Jersey College for Women was established, and in 1921, the Board of Trustees created the College of Agriculture. Government support and philanthropic contributions increased substantially during Demarest’s tenure.
In addition to enjoying other privileges, all President’s Council members are invited to the Annual Meeting, a conversation with the university president that takes place each fall.
For more information about the President’s Council, please contact Annual Giving at 848-932-8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.