Dana Dakin ’64 – National Major Gift Committee

Dana Dakin ’64

Wilmot, New Hampshire


Dana credits her distinguished 35-year career in the financial services industry to a decision made during her senior year at Scripps: choose a field that holds the promise of money and the opportunity to be in an industry that has continual change. From the only available start point – secretary – she moved to project work at the NYSE, then to pension consulting with Callan Associates. The glass ceiling led her to recognizing a service gap and in 1976 she formed Dakin Partners, the first creative marketing firm to focus on the institutional investment industry. She became associated with some of the great money manager launches in the business and is credited with bringing investment communications standards to a new level. In 2003, at age 60, she shifted from the “earn” to “return” phase of life and founded a 501(c)(3) called WomensTrust to impact social change on the ground in Ghana.

Favorite gift to Scripps:

“Every five years I love to give collectively with my reunion class and watch how our total gift increases. Also was invited to contribute to the Kathleen O’Brien Wicker Lectureship – her scholarship and research aligned with my passionate interest in Ghana, making my contribution have that extra personal meaning.”

About her passion for philanthropy:

“I consider philanthropy a responsibility,” she says. “It is the ultimate privilege to give back.”

What inspires you to give to Scripps:

“Scripps supported my pioneering spirit by allowing me to be the first student to major in International Relations. Their belief in me led to an internalized level of confidence that still drives my passion. My personal curiosity has caused me to take unusual risks and now I have the good fortune to pass it along to young women readying themselves to take their personal risks. How can you do better than that?”

“My overall philanthropic strategy can be reduced down to two goals: incite justice and build community. When you focus your giving, you become part of the impact.” Her gift to Scripps centers on internship support for scholarship students to gain equal financial access in building their own paths to creativity. Her other major philanthropic interest is her New Hampshire community’s local hospital when they demonstrated compassionate fairness in building a large full-service clinic centrally located within an adjoining community that is home to many under the poverty line. Finally, always in her heart will be WomensTrust, the organization she founded to bring microloans for women, education for girls, and healthcare to one village in Ghana.