Earlham College has launched a historic $85 million comprehensive campaign to enrich the student experience and strengthen its commitment to access and affordability for future generations of students.
Announced during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend on Friday, Oct. 14, For Good: The Campaign for Earlham College is the most ambitious fundraising effort in the College’s history. It has three priorities: widening the path to an Earlham education by establishing endowed scholarships and expanding recruitment initiatives; enriching the Epic Journey by expanding funding for career-discerning research, internship and off-campus study experiences; and elevating the campus experience by revitalizing student housing on College Avenue and creating an endowed fund for students who encounter emergent financial needs.
“The world needs Earlham now more than ever,” Earlham President Anne Houtman said. “For 175 years, we have combined the very best of a liberal arts education with outstanding teaching and learning experiences that inspire and prepare students to become catalysts for good in a changing world.
“As we reflect on our proud legacy, now is the time to look forward and boldly envision the resources we need to grow and sustain our college long into the future,” she said.
The campaign is intentionally designed to expand upon the College’s signature student success initiative called the Epic Journey. Through best-in-class teaching and mentorship, this four-year journey encourages students to design a path that connects their personal interests and talents with their future ambitions. Central to the experience is the Epic Advantage, which guarantees up to $5,000 for every student to participate in and internship, research or international travel experience before graduation.
Through the For Good campaign, the College is also committed to enhancing recruitment initiatives by growing brand awareness in key national markets and expanding strategic initiatives that provide access to students from Indiana and the local community. Those initiatives include reimagining a summer pre-college experience for high school students and investing in regional financial aid through the INspire Earlham tuition waiver program and other local scholarships.
“The Epic Journey embodies the kind of transformational learning experiences that only an Earlham education can deliver,” said Kim Tanner, vice president for institutional advancement. “The For Good campaign is motivated by our belief that these opportunities should be available to a wider audience, so we can be an even stronger spark for good in the world.
“We invite our worldwide network of alumni and friends to join us and invest in the success of the next generation of students,” she said.
Upgrading the residential experience on College Avenue—modernizing College-owned theme and friendship houses—is a key component of the campaign’s focus on recruitment and retention. So is endowing the Clarence Cunningham Student Emergency Fund. Named after Earlham’s first Black graduate, from the Class of 1924, this discretionary fund will support the most vulnerable members of the campus community by removing financial barriers toward college completion.
“We know that there is and will always be a need for emergency funding,” said Bonita Washington-Lacey, dean of students and vice president for student life. “This could be anything from covering the cost of books so that students are able to stay engaged in their academic pursuits or provide support for students to travel home should they experience an emergency in their personal life.
“We are honored to endow this fund in Clarence’s honor and use it as a resource to strengthen our support of the students who need it the most in perpetuity.”
The For Good Campaign is slated to wrap up on June 30, 2024.