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Sawmill Society FAQ

What is the Sawmill Society?

The Sawmill Society is an opportunity for entrepreneurs as company founders, equity holders, or investors to make a non-binding pledge to give back to the institute when they’ve reached success. Sawmill Society members have full control over the timing, amount, and designation of their gift. Until their pledge is fulfilled, members can enjoy networking with other entrepreneurial alumni, students, faculty and staff. The society is a forum for sharing insights, experience and inspiration with each other, while keeping the Rose spirit of giving alive.

How does it work?

It’s easy! Complete the online pledge form (or contact Steve Brady for a hard copy). When the timing is right for you—typically, after your company’s IPO, acquisition or steady revenue growth—contact us and we can help you arrange your gift to the institute. Your gift can support any unit, program or department on campus. We can help you along the way to plan your gift and work with your financial or tax advisors to determine whether a cash or stock gift is the best option for you.

Why would I want to do this?

Members enjoy networking with other entrepreneurial alumni, students, faculty and staff. The society is a forum for sharing insights, experience and inspiration with each other, while keeping the Rose spirit of giving alive. In addition, you’ll have access to resources through Rose-Hulman’s network of innovative alumni, expert faculty, creative students, and campus units like Career Services and Rose-Hulman Ventures. By making a pledge, you’re signaling that philanthropy is important to you and your business.

Can I designate my pledge to any unit or program on campus?

Yes, you may direct your gift to any area of campus, determined at the time you fulfill your pledge. We can work with you to help identify the areas or programs that are most important to you. Your gift can support existing program or initiatives, or in true innovator fashion, we can even help you find ways to support completely new programs.

Is there a minimum dollar amount for my contribution?

No. Every gift is appreciated and enhances our ability to offer world’s best STEM education in an environment of individual attention and support. Fulfillment of your Sawmill Society pledge is intended to be an additional gift, on top of any regular annual gift you make. Fulfilling this pledge should be personally significant, reflect your unique entrepreneurial situation and influenced by the impact you want to have on campus.

What are the tax ramifications?

Making the pledge is nonbinding and not tied to any amount. When the timing is right for you to fulfill your pledge, our experts will work with your financial and tax advisors to find the best way for you to make your gift. All gifts to Rose-Hulman are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Who are the members of The Sawmill Society?

Sawmill Society members are entrepreneurs and innovators who have started a company or hold equity in one. The society is a dedicated group of alumni (and potentially students) who are current and/or future donors who value their Rose-Hulman experience and look forward to making an impact on the campus as their entrepreneurial success grows. Members believe in collaboration and find inspiration by networking and sharing experiences with other like-minded innovators in the society.

What if I’ve already made a significant gift from a previous startup exit?

Let us recognize you and your commitment. Contact Christian Shuck to get set up as a Sawmill Society member who has fulfilled their commitment.

I’m about to make an exit and would like to make a gift to Rose-Hulman in the process. Can I still be a member?

First, congratulations! Second, of course you can! Contact Steve Brady to tell us more about your company and its success, and how you envision supporting Rose-Hulman.

I want to talk about this more. Whom do I contact to get more information?

We’d love to talk to you. Contact Steve Brady in the Office of Institutional Advancement, at

Mike Hatfield, EE 1984
Co-founder, Carium


I’m definitely excited to be a part of the Sawmill Society. I think it’s a great way for Rose entrepreneurs to help each other get their ideas off the ground while laying the groundwork to give back to the institute down the road

To learn more contact Steve Brady at

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