NEWS: Olin College Announces $100,000 Matching Campaign

Olin College is thrilled to announce an inspiring fundraising initiative that promises to make a significant difference for our community and the next generation of innovative engineers. 

Nate Smith (Class of 2007) and his husband, Chris Cheng, have graciously pledged to match donations made to the Olin Fund up to $100,000 through December 2023.

Nate Smith and Chris Cheng

A portrait of Nate Smith (Class of 2007) and his husband, Chris Cheng.

A Dollar-for-Dollar Promise

Their pledge will match both 1) gifts from new Olin Fund donors and 2) increased gifts from returning Olin Fund donors to the Olin Fund between now and December 31.

These gifts, whether $10 or $10,000, will be matched dollar-for-dollar, effectively doubling the impact of each donation. Donors now have a unique and impactful opportunity to leverage their generosity and directly support Olin’s mission.

“This gift is about making an impact,” says Nate. “We want to encourage others to think of Olin and the impact it’s had on their lives and to give back to the college what they can.”

Why the Olin Fund?

“When I think about philanthropy, I think about impact,” says Nate. “Lots of organizations are trying to do the same things—some stand out as more unique than others. Olin continues to be a unique organization in its mission and impact.”

On their generosity, Nate Smith remarked, “Olin gave me the tools and the mindset to approach the world with curiosity and determination. Chris and I believe in the power of education and the difference Olin makes.”

Nate is a member of Olin’s second-ever graduating class. When choosing a college, he considered how one’s college friends form a lifelong network. “I was set on attending Olin at Candidate’s Weekend. I met all the faculty, staff and students, and I remember thinking, “I really like these people. I would be lucky for them to be my lifelong friends.”

A graduate of UCLA and Middlebury College, Chris describes himself as an “honorary Oliner” who has become close friends with many Olin graduates. “As college students, you tend to think more about taking what the university has to offer. Later in life, it is important to reflect on how you can give back,” says Chris.

Fueling Olin’s Future

The funds raised through this matching campaign will be instrumental in supporting Olin’s various endeavors—from enhancing need-based financial aid, academic programs, research opportunities and student initiatives, to advancing infrastructure and technology on campus. Olin College has always been at the forefront of pioneering engineering education, and contributions from its community and alumni ensure that it remains a beacon of innovation.

“Oliners have a certain idealism,” explains Nate. “They want to do things better and change the world in a practical way that I believe in. This gift to Olin is my small part in creating that experience for other people.”

How to Contribute

Making a donation is simple. Visit or get in touch with Emily Cavalier, director of the Olin Fund, for more details. Every contribution, no matter its size, makes a profound difference.

Remember, every dollar counts, and thanks to Nate and Chris, each dollar is now worth two. Whether you’re a first-time donor or a regular donor, now is the perfect moment to amplify your impact.


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