|Date: January 14, 2000
Contact: Alicia MacLeay
Phone: (207) 872-3220
Colby College Concludes Most Successful Fund-Raising Effort in Maines History Having Raised More Than $150 Million
When Colby College launched the $100-million "Campaign for Colby" in 1994, private fund-raising consultants said that was probably overly ambitious. But when the final tally on the colleges six-year capital fund-raising drive was presented to the Board of Trustees Friday (Jan. 14), $150,598,315 had been raised, making it the most successful private fund-raising effort in Maine history.
"This campaign was designed to secure Colbys future by increasing our endowment, supporting our world-class faculty, building new facilities and bolstering our financial-aid resources to ensure that a Colby education will be accessible to the most qualified students regardless of their ability to pay," said William R. Cotter, Colbys president. "This is a remarkable achievement on the part of all of the dedicated employees who worked on the campaign and by the alumni, friends, foundations and other donors who endorsed the colleges principles and achievements with their gifts."
The total amount raised was two and a half times the cumulative total raised by all previous Colby capital campaigns and five times what was raised in the most recent campaign, which concluded in 1986.
While $150 million is an impressive sum, it does not make Colby rich, cautions Colbys Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development Peyton R. Helm, who planned and executed the successful campaign strategy. With a history of training educators and clergy, and as one of the first mens colleges to admit women (in 1871), Colbys financial resources were limited during its early history, which dates to 1813. Then in 1929 the college decided to put its resources into building an entirely new campus. As a result its endowment traditionally has lagged behind those at most of its peer colleges in the New England Small College Athletic Conference and at Ivy League schools.
But the unprecedented success of this fund-raising effort underscores the colleges status as one of the nations top liberal arts colleges, according to Helm. "The college is much stronger as a result of the campaign, but the campaign has not made Colby wealthy," he said. "People supported this effort so generously because we have a long history of fiscal prudence. Colby willby necessity and by choicecontinue that tradition of financial discipline."
"Educating young people is a wonderful opportunity to assist others in improving our society," said James B. Crawford 64 of Richmond, Va., chair of Colbys Board of Trustees and chairman and CEO of the James River Coal Co. "The success of this campaign gives Colby solid financial underpinnings that will enable the college to maintain its prestige as one of the best colleges in the country and to achieve its goal of enrolling an even more diverse student body."
The Campaign for Colby had a substantial impact on teaching by establishing 26 new endowed faculty chairs at a cost of $1.2 million each. Endowed chairs, which provide investment revenue to pay for the faculty position in perpetuity, are a key tool for recruiting and retaining leading teacher-scholars to Colbys faculty. At the beginning of the 1990s Colby had just four endowed chairs; it now has 34.
More than $37 million was committed to the financial aid endowment. These gifts to support current and future generations of students will ensure educational opportunities for bright, hard-working young people who otherwise could not afford to attend Colby.
"Many members of the Colby family who contributed to the campaign, myself among them, would not have been in a position to do so without the helping hand they received as students," said Edson V. Mitchell 75, of London, England, head of global markets for Deutsche Bank and co-chair of the Campaign for Colby. "Now two of every three Colby students receive some form of financial aid, and the success of the campaign will allow us to keep the colleges pledge that if you are a talented young person and willing to work hard we will find a way to make sure you get a Colby education."
More than $36 million was contributed for facilities, and new buildings and additions are a major part of the campaigns legacy. New buildings include the Lunder House for Admissions and Financial Aid, the F.W. Olin Science Center, the Pugh Center for multicultural programs and organizations, the Anthony, Mitchell and Schupf residence halls, the Harold and Bibby Alfond Residence Complex, the Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Art of Alex Katz, the Lunder Wing for works from the art museums permanent collection, and the Klein Tennis Pavilion. Other academic buildings saw extensive renovations paid for by the campaign.
Douglas M. Schair 67 of Falmouth, Maine, co-chair of the campaign, said, "Colbys move from its old downtown campus to Mayflower Hill was completed in 1952, but the work of building Colby never really stopped, and rarely has there been a period of such dramatic transformation as during the past seven years. A dozen new buildings were erected, and theres similar growth and strength in the colleges programs and financial well-being, too, all as a result of this capital campaign."
Lawrence R. Pugh 56, chair of Colbys Board of Directors during most of the campaign, said, "Colby could not have attained its national leadership in liberal arts education without support from alumni, parents and friends. I feel strongly about ensuring that the college maintains its excellence for future generationsthats why I took a leadership role in the Campaign for Colby."
With the major financial additions provided by this campaign, Colbys endowment stood at $290 million on June 30, the end of fiscal 1999. That was a four-fold increase over the past 10 years and more than a 12-fold increase since Cotter took over as president of the college in 1979. Cotter will retire in June after 21 years as president of Colby. "We truly are thankful for the stunning support we have received from thousands of alumni and friends of the college," Cotter said. "The fruits of this campaign will support the educational mission of the college and enrich lives for generations to come."