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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

An update on Breaking Barriers: The Campaign for Carleton

<f the recent budget discussions, information about the declining endowment and the consequences for the College, its employees and students moving forward, the division of external relations wishes to share updated information on the Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections: The Campaign for Carleton and on recent Alumni Annual Fund gifts by the Board of Trustees.

During the recent Board of Trustees meetings, two Carleton trustees––Jim Johnson ’64 (Executive Vice President, Group Insurance Division, Securian Financial Group) and Caesar Sweitzer ’72, P ’02, ’06 (Senior Advisor, Citigroup Global Markets Inc.), led the board in a “Trustee Rally” to increase gifts from board members to support Carleton’s Alumni Annual Fund. Gifts to the annual fund have run behind the College’s budgeted figures for the year from –24 percent earlier in the year to –3 percent following the Trustee Rally.

The board’s enthusiastic support for the College’s mission resulted in second gifts from many trustees, with the rally resulting in additional giving of nearly $750,000, according to Kristine Cecil ’84, vice president for external relations. Total annual fund giving from trustees has now reached an unprecedented amount of $2,079,062 against an overall annual fund goal of $7.7 million. The increase in annual fund support is especially key in this tough economic time, as the Alumni Annual Fund giving is immediately available to the College to help pay for student financial aid, academic resources (including faculty salaries), and other needs of the College. “The Board’s philanthropic leadership at this particular time in Carleton’s history has the potential to not only provide great motivation and inspiration to the College’s other donors and volunteers, but also to materially change the outcome for the College’s annual fund,” Cecil said. “This extraordinary level of financial leadership on the part of our Board has a direct impact on the experiences of our students, faculty and programs.”

President Robert A. Oden Jr., who also serves as a trustee, doubled his own annual fund gift as a part of the Trustee Rally, and has designated his giving towards the Class of 1969’s annual fund goal. Oden, who earned his B.A. degree from Harvard College in 1969, has been “adopted” by Carleton’s Class of ‘69. Total gifts to the campaign from President Oden and his wife, Teresa Johnston Oden, now exceed $100,000.

Carleton’s multi-year comprehensive fundraising campaign, Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections, has reached total gifts and pledges in excess of $227 million, Cecil said. While 42 percent of the campaign total (beyond the annual fund) is unrestricted or undesignated–– reflecting a remarkable tradition of confidence in the institution to prioritize its needs––campaign gifts are funding the addition of 15 new faculty members; two new student residence halls; 40 new scholarships and gift additions to another 140 scholarship funds; and 153 new curricular funds.

Of the total campaign gifts committed so far, 61 gifts have been given of $1 million or more, with 44 of those 61 gifts coming from donors who have made a gift to Carleton of this magnitude for the first time.

In addition, campaign co-chairs Wally and Barbara Veach Weitz, both alumni from the Class of 1970 and three-time Carleton parents (’96, 99,’02) from Omaha, Neb., have initiated a campaign challenge to the Board of Trustees. The Weitz Trustee Challenge is aimed at encouraging total campaign gifts from the board to reach a benchmark of providing one-third of the campaign total, or $100 million of the $300 million goal. The Weitzes have committed to a $10 million gift, but if other Board of Trustee members pledge at least $75 million beyond the Weitzes initial gift, the Weitzes will make an additional gift of $15 million, for a total Weitz family gift of $25 million. The Board of Trustees has $5.7 million remaining to reach that goal.

“Once again, the Wietz family has stepped up in ways that are extraordinary and inspiring, and their challenge really sets the bar for the rest of the trustees,” Cecil said. She noted the “all or nothing challenge” means that if trustees don’t make these additional gifts by the end of the campaign, the $15 million challenge gift will be forfeited. “As Wally has said to me, ‘it’s hard to imagine that our Trustees would be willing to leave $15 million on the table!’” she said.

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