Earlham Meets the “100 for 100 Challenge”
July 29, 2013
Earlham College alumni met a challenge issued by Trustee Fred McClure ’84 and raised more than $205,000 — largely donors giving their first significant gifts to the College’s Annual Fund. McClure says the challenge was motivated by his desire to assure that other students will benefit from an Earlham education as he has.
“I hope that there never comes a day when talented, caring, globally aware young people are denied the Earlham experience for no reason other than they cannot afford the tuition,” says McClure. “I believe that those of us who benefitted from the College’s teaching, nurturing and support owe it to the generations to come to ensure that a well-funded Earlham Fund will always be available to answer the call. We owe that duty not just to future students, we also owe it to ourselves.”
Last June, McClure promised $100,000 to Earlham if 100 new donors joined the President’s Circle — a group of philanthropists who give $1500 or more to the annual fund. Alumni from the last ten years can join the President’s Circle with gifts of $500 or more. Known as the “100 for 100 Challenge,” the initiative eventually attracted 143 donors, including 10 young alumni from the classes of 2002-12.
“I am absolutely thrilled at the response to the Challenge,” says McClure.
“When the College approached me about issuing a challenge to others to become members of the President’s Circle, it took me about one-half of a nano second to agree to do it,” recalls McClure. “The Earlham Fund, the majority of which is funded by President Circle contributors, is a vital resource to the College that enables it to meet the immediate human and financial resource needs that make Earlham, Earlham.”
Danna O’Connell, director of annual giving, says that the College deeply appreciates McClure’s leadership in this fundraising effort. She notes that this challenge was particularly important as the College invests in new or improved facilities — including a science building, center for visual and performing arts, admissions welcome center and sports fields — and hires new faculty and staff to reach to goals of its ambitious strategic plan. Contributions from President Circle donators comprise more than half of the Earlham Fund at 55 percent.
“As Earlham works to improve the resources available to students, we recognize the need to increase the number of donors supporting the College at the leadership level,” she says. “Philanthropic support is an important part of the College budget each fiscal year, and this challenge was an opportunity for a new generation of alumni and friends help Earlham fulfill its mission.”
For McClure, a partner at the law firm DLAPiper, providing financial support to Earlham is highly personal, since financial aid made it possible for him to attend the College.