Roosevelt announces $9 million gift to college
- Published: June 18, 2011
The Antioch College board of trustees has pledged to donate $9 million to the revived college over the next three years, according to President Mark Roosevelt at the college’s annual alumni reunion Friday, June 17. The announcement came during Roosevelt’s State of the College address, which took place in 113 McGregor Hall.
“These are people digging very deeply because of how much they love this college,” Roosevelt said to an overflow crowd of several hundred people. “It’s a huge, huge step for the college.”
There are 14 members on the college’s board of trustees, formerly called the board pro tempore, so that the donation comes out to an average of $750,000 per trustee.
The donation will cover more than a third of the college’s three-year, $27 million operating budget, Roosevelt said. After money received from the college endowment and annual fund campaign, there was still a $17 million funding gap for those three years, and the board’s donation will cover more than half of that gap.
Roosevelt urged the alumni to help cover the rest.
“This is a great challenge to the rest of us,” he said. “That rest is do-able.”
The need for alumni support is critical because the college is not yet charging tuition. But even when tuition kicks in, liberal arts colleges are increasingly providing greater amounts of financial aid to students, and relying more on outside funding, Roosevelt said.
So in the future Antioch College will likely need to attract funding from outside sources such as foundations. However, he said, the college is not yet ready to apply for significant grants, and needs to focus on clarifying its mission in order to be an attractive applicant.
“We have to know who we are deeply,” Roosevelt said. “It’s the mission that will drive the dollars.”
Roosevelt promised the Antioch alumni that he will focus on developing that mission in the college’s first years, with a focus on environmental sustainability. The revived college will also emphasize its historic three-pronged academic model of academic excellence, work experience and community governance, he said.
“My commitment to you is that, when you come back in several years, you will be on the campus of one of America’s great liberal arts colleges,” Roosevelt said.
See the June 24 News for a more detailed story.