Auction of 303-acre farm to benefit the sciences at Earlham | Earlham College Skip to Content

Auction of 303-acre farm to benefit the sciences at Earlham

January 19, 2017

A historic farm in northwestern Indiana that was bequeathed to Earlham College will be auctioned later this month with proceeds supporting the natural sciences.

Martha (Marty) Hansen ’59 and her brother, Edward Sykes, inherited the 303-acre Shuttle Croft Farm in La Porte County, Indiana, upon their parent’s deaths.

Hansen studied environmental biology at Earlham and spent her career as a naturalist in Connecticut. She remained an avid supporter of the College over the years and frequently returned to campus for visits. She died in October 2015.

“Marty and Edward believed strongly in the value of an Earlham education and were strong supporters of the College,” says Avis Stewart, vice president of institutional advancement and community relations. “We look forward to honoring their generosity by enhancing our capacity to provide transformative experiences for future generations of our students in the sciences.”

The auction will take place at 1 p.m. Jan. 30 CST at the Best Western Plus Hotel and Conference Center, 444 Pine Lake Avenue, La Porte. The College will announce the results of the auction at a later time.

Earlham is already one of the nation’s top liberal arts institutions for its commitment to undergraduate teaching in the sciences. The College is ranked 10th nationally for the percentage of students who go on to earn advance degrees in the life sciences, according to the Higher Education Data Sharing consortium’s most recent report. Since 2012, the College has invested nearly $40 million in the sciences, most notably through renovations to Stanley Hall and the construction of the Center for Science and Technology.

The estate gift is the second gift of farmland that Earlham has received in as many years. In November 2015, a bequest from Ivan Druley ’29 and Pauline Kniese Druley ’31 resulted in a nearly $2 million gift that funded renovations to the Athletics and Wellness Center.

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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."

 Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at (765) 983-1256 and

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