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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Antonio Serna

First Committee Member

Lynn Beck

Second Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Third Committee Member

Edward Leland


Institutions of higher education rely upon the support of their alumni to provide financial stability. This outward show of confidence by alumni is also an important indication for external constituents who rank colleges and universities based on funding sources such as corporations and foundations. Private universities, in particular, have been cultivating their alumni to support their alma maters through annual and endowed gifts to provide the financial support to continue educating future generations of students. This study surveyed undergraduate alumni from the University of the Pacific through a voluntary questionnaire that was made available to alumni through the alumni e-news letter, "What's Up, Pacific?" The purpose of the study was to analyze the factors that motivate undergraduate alumni at the University of the Pacific to make gifts to their alma mater and to examine if social exchange theory can be applied to the giving behaviors of these alumni. The research questions that were addressed were 1) to what extent were Pacific alumni satisfied with their University of the Pacific experiences as a student and as alumni, 2) what internal and external factors motivate these alumni to make a gift, regardless, of the amount to the university, and, 3) how does social exchange theory serve to explain, at least in part, the behavior underlying alumni giving patterns at the University of the Pacific? Descriptive statistics and cross-tabulations were developed to analyze the data which showed that the vast majority of alumni were overall satisfied with their experiences as students (95%) and as alumni (76%). The motivators that alumni sited as the most likely to compel them to make a gift included satisfaction with their Pacific experience, commitment to support future generations of Pacific students, wanting to further the cause of the university, the importance of giving back, and the fact that giving to their alma mater makes them feel good. There were many open ended comments that support the social exchange theory as it serves to explain donor behavior. Recommendations for further research were included in the dissertation.





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