Hatch Family Scholarship Increases Access
Without a scholarship, Mark Hatch, CC’s vice president for enrollment, never would have attended Bates College, where he majored in psychology and held a work-study position in the Admission Office.
If it wasn’t for that scholarship, Hatch may have never found his calling — a career in admission and financial aid that has extended beyond his graduate studies at Harvard University, and positions at Bates, Harvard-Westlake School, Marlborough School, and Occidental College.
Hatch has been overseeing the admission and financial aid operation at Colorado College since 2001. For the past 14 years, he and his wife Anne, who teaches middle and high school English, and their two daughters, 13-year-old Katherine and 11-year-old Heather, have become fully ingrained in CC’s culture.
Hatch’s work often goes home with him. He spends nights and weekends reading applications — and predictably his daughters ask him about the applicants. “I share the most inspirational stories of accomplishment, hardship, and perseverance at the dinner table,” which inevitably leads his daughters to ask: “Daddy, are you going to admit that student?”
“Admitting them is the best part of my job,” said Hatch, “but it’s even more gratifying when my daughters get to meet some of these amazing students.” Mark and Anne Hatch deliberately chose to live close to campus, and often have scholarship students to their home as babysitters, homework helpers, and role models for their daughters.
With both parents in education, Hatch’s daughters are accustomed to hearing about the importance of academics, motivation, and service. But hearing these things is one thing; having dinner with a young person who embodies them is another.
“CC students have been incredible role models,” Hatch said. “The lessons they impart make a much greater impression on the girls than any lecture from their parents. We strive to show them, by having Anna from Alabama or Sakhile from Swaziland join us at the dinner table, that our students are remarkable in so many ways,” Hatch said.
Hatch’s position in admission and financial aid gives him a unique perspective on the significant role scholarships play in attracting a talented and diverse student body. He also understands the importance of eliminating financial barriers for students who are otherwise an excellent fit for the college and would thrive here. Perhaps more than anyone else at CC, Hatch is in a position to appreciate the talent and diversity the college could have, providing it could offer more financial aid.
Hatch’s bird’s-eye view — and personal experience — of the difference a scholarship can make led the Hatch family to extend their commitment to the college even further. During fiscal year 2014 they established the Mark and Anne Hatch Family Scholarship, which provides support for first-generation college students or those with high need.
“We need to move the needle of access and support a higher percentage of students,” Hatch said. “The Strategic Plan is about a greater level of access and a commitment to increasing talent and diversity. That is something I believe in so strongly.
“During the last several years Anne and I have talked about how we could establish a scholarship at CC. The matching funds available through the Walton Family Foundation made the timing of our scholarship possible.”
Although Mark and Anne had been considering establishing the scholarship for the past two years, the idea of financial assistance started years ago in rural Maine, where Hatch spent most of his childhood. His great-uncle attended Bates College in 1920, but dropped out a year later because he didn’t have the means to continue. Years later, Hatch, a financial-aid student at the college, often visited his great-aunt, who delighted in hearing his stories of college life. Based on her great-nephew’s stories, and unbeknownst to Hatch at the time, she left a bequest to Bates to start a scholarship.
“I found that incredibly moving,” Hatch said. “I told myself that if I was ever in a place where I could do that, I would.”
Creating the scholarship is not as much a way for Hatch to close the circle on the scholarship he received as an undergraduate, as it is a legacy for the family — and for those who join them at their dinner table.