Campaign Goal Surpassed

Because of you, we did it!

Eckerd College Campaign surpasses goal ahead of schedule, reaches $81 million

Eckerd College announced today that donors have made gifts and pledges to the Many Experiences, One Spirit comprehensive campaign—the largest in the College's history—of $81 million, which exceeds the $80 million goal. The announcement came during the College's Board of Trustees meeting, nearly six weeks ahead of the official close of the Campaign on June 30.

"The impact of this Campaign so far has been nothing short of extraordinary, and the donors who have invested in the College despite challenging economic times, have made enthusiastic endorsements of our mission," said Donald R. Eastman III, President of Eckerd College. "It is due in great part to the Campaign that the College is in the best financial position in its history. That success also contributed a good deal to our achieving reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, the Campaign has contributed to the strong commitment and high level of involvement of Eckerd's Board, alumni, parents, faculty and staff, which is without compare."

Through the Campaign, the College has achieved the following:

  • endowed funds available to support student scholarships have more than doubled to $22,974,552, and the College's total endowment has increased from $18,319,062 in 2006 to $45,733,434 today; when all pledges are fulfilled the scholarship endowment will total more than $26 million and the total endowment is expected to top $51 million.
  • From 2001–2008, the College spent $31,360,000 on new construction, and the Campaign will support $34.5 million over the next several years in new construction, renovations and other physical campus improvements. Campaign-funded projects already completed were renovations to the Wireman Chapel and the construction of the GO Pavilion—an outdoor recreational facility completed in December 2010. Other projects will include the Center for Molecular and Life Sciences—currently under construction, renovations to legacy science facilities, and future plans for the Pruitt Center for Ceramic Arts and Sculpture;
  • with the goal of increasing the percentage of Eckerd students who study abroad from 60 to 100 percent, endowed study abroad scholarship support has increased tenfold since 2006 to $2,566,609 in 2011 and will surpass $3 million when all pledges are fulfilled;
  • in 2006, 33 alumni had made total gifts and commitments of $25,000 or more, and by 2011, this number reached 107;
  • giving from parents of Eckerd students and alumni has increased from $201,533 in 2006 to more than $450,000 thus far this fiscal year;
  • College staff visited with more than 5,000 Eckerd alumni, parents and friends in more than 700 cities, 38 states, and five foreign countries;
  • five new professorships of at least $1 million each were established to support the natural sciences, film studies, humanities, creative writing and finance;
  • the Annual Fund, dollars raised each year to support the College's operating budget and student scholarships, increased from $1,260,976 in 2006 to more than $1,600,000 in 2011;
  • the College established several new volunteer groups composed of alumni, parents and friends: Parent Council, Dean's Council on Science, National Advisory Council and President's Associates, which is composed of Tampa Bay business professionals;
  • the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education recognized Campaign leadership, events, and publications, most notably with President Eastman receiving the CASE III National Chief Executive Leadership Award, and Grover C. Wrenn '64, Campaign Chairman and Vice Chairman of Eckerd's Board of Trustees, CASE's Bill Franklin Volunteer of the Year Award; and
  • Eckerd extended its reach by hosting hundreds of free events that welcomed thousands of Tampa Bay area community members to experience celebrations of its 50th Anniversary, The Plight and Promise of Africa series and many other intellectual, athletic, musical, theatrical and thought-provoking opportunities.

"This Campaign was launched with unparalleled votes of confidence from Miles Collier, Chairman of the Eckerd College Board of Trustees, who with his wife, Parker, made a $25 million challenge gift, and from Tom James, CEO of Raymond James, whose $1 million gift established the James Professorship in Finance," said Campaign Chairman Wrenn. "Their gifts and those of countless others provided the momentum and inspiration to make this a success shared by the entire Eckerd community."

This momentum and strong Campaign leadership were essential to minimizing the decline of philanthropy caused by the "Great Recession" as well as the College's challenges as a young institution of higher education with a limited and largely young alumni body. Despite these setbacks, the cash-heavy Campaign already has collected 67.5 percent of commitments, including $3.3 million from The Bernard Osher Foundation, a hearty endorsement of the College's health and resiliency.

The centerpiece of the Campaign is the Center for Molecular and Life Sciences, a 55,000-square-foot facility scheduled to begin construction in June and open for students in August 2012. Nearly 45,000 cubic yards of dirt have been moved to create a foundation for the new building, which will provide state-of-the-art Biology and Chemistry facilities to support the College's strong academic programs in the sciences, particularly Marine Science. With the inspiration of the Eckerd Science Challenge, made possible through a $15 million grant from a private foundation in 2008, nearly $28 million, including $250,000 from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, toward the $30 million goal has been raised for the new facility and renovations to existing Science buildings. More than 200 donors have become Science Fellows through their gifts of $5,000 or more to support the project.

"The positive effects of this Campaign will continue for several years," Eastman said. "Propelled by the new Center for Molecular and Life Sciences, increasing applications will allow us to increase our selectivity. Many Science students pursue additional majors or change disciplines when they arrive, so all of our academic programs will benefit. In addition, the facility will enhance our ability to attract more of the top-notch faculty members we have been fortunate to have at Eckerd."

Eckerd raised its original goal of $75 million to $80 million in November 2008 during the College's 50th anniversary celebration. Although the $80 million goal has been surpassed, additional fundraising for the Sciences will continue both to complete funding for the Center for Molecular and Life Sciences, but also to enhance the academic program and purchase technology and equipment. In addition, the College will identify new fundraising goals for other academic programs and capital needs.

"This Campaign has been a success due to the Eckerd Trustees, alumni, parents, ASPEC members, friends, faculty and staff who have shown support through their gifts, and the special volunteers who have given of themselves to greatly enhance our efforts," said Matthew S. Bisset, Vice President for Advancement. "They are all a reflection of the special community created by Eckerd and the College's commitment to learning, leadership and service."

Eckerd College Campaign Highlights
Endowed Professorships $5.4 million
Endowed Scholarships $11.3 million
Endowed Faculty Development $1 million
Endowed Study-Abroad Scholarships $2.7 million
Endowed Program Support $7.7 million
The Center for Molecular and Life Sciences $27.7 million
Pruitt Center for Ceramic Arts and Sculpture $2.9 million
The GO Pavilion and Wellness Facilities $1.2 million
Wireman Chapel Renovation and Spiritual Life Lecture Series $2.1 million
Library Endowment $0.9 million
Annual Fund $10 million
Restricted Funds $8.1 million
Campaign Total (as of 5.20.11) $81 million
Percentage of Faculty Participating:   97%
Percentage of Staff Participating: 76%
 Percentage of alumni participating:  40%
Number of donors: 8,857