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Eckerd College Receives $2.8 Million Gift, Campaign Hits $70 Million Mark

posted on 10/22/2009

Many Experiences, One Spirit - The Campaign for Eckerd College

The J. Crayton Pruitt Foundation, Inc., has made a gift of property to Eckerd College valued at $2.8 million, which increases the college's campaign total to $70 million of its $80 million goal. The gift will support the construction of the new Pruitt Center for Ceramic Arts and Sculpture and several program and scholarship endowments.

"The Pruitt Foundation recognizes the great value of a liberal arts education and Eckerd College's vital place in the education community in Florida and beyond," said Dr. J. Crayton Pruitt Jr., President of the Pruitt Foundation. "I have admired the progress Eckerd College has made in recent years, and this gift gives us the opportunity to be involved in the continuing success of this outstanding St. Petersburg institution."

This gift follows the College's public announcement in November 2008 of the Many Experiences, One Spirit Campaign. The College's fundraising priorities include scholarships for students in the residential program and the Program for Experienced Learners (PEL); study abroad programs and scholarships; the Center for Ceramic Arts and Sculpture; and the Center for Molecular and Life Sciences, which is the centerpiece of the campaign.

"We are pleased to accept this generous gift which will support the first of several facility improvements planned for the next ten years to enhance our arts programs," said Donald R. Eastman III, President of Eckerd College. "The Center and the funds directed to various endowments will enrich every student's Eckerd experience."

The new ceramic arts facility will replace the existing buildings which have served the College since 1971. The Pruitt Center for Ceramic Arts and Sculpture will quadruple the current space available for throwing, glazing and firing pottery; include a sculpture area and student studios; and accommodate the great demand from students for ceramics and other Visual Arts classes. The new facility will be located near the existing one and will mark the start of a transformation of the facilities for the arts at Eckerd.

In addition, the gift will enhance or create endowments to support the Eckerd College Writers' Conference, the Creative Arts Collegium, the Letters Collegium, the Library, and programs and scholarships for the Program for Experienced Learners.

"The Foundation's gift will begin a new day for arts at Eckerd College, and will continue the incredible momentum generated by the many benevolent donors to our capital campaign," said Matthew S. Bisset, Vice President for Advancement. "Our largest remaining initiative is our Center for Molecular and Life Sciences, which will bolster our popular and rigorous programs in the natural sciences."

Click here for more information about Many Experiences, One Spirit: The Campaign for Eckerd College

About Eckerd College
Located on 188 acres of waterfront property in St. Petersburg, Florida, Eckerd College is a private, coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences known distinctively for marine science, environmental studies, international relations and global affairs, creative writing, organizational studies, study abroad, and civic engagement. Eckerd's 1,840 residential students from 45 states and 35 countries choose among 40 majors leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Nearly 40% of each Eckerd graduating class goes on to pursue advanced degrees, and Eckerd is among the nation's leaders in the percentage of its graduates who earn doctoral degrees.

In addition, 1,000 students are enrolled in the Program for Experienced Learners, a bachelor's degree program for adult learners. Eckerd's Leadership Development Institute executive education program, Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC), Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Exploritas identify the college as a national leader of innovative programs in continuing education and lifelong learning.

Eckerd College is one of only 40 schools listed in Loren Pope's trusted Colleges That Change Lives. One of the youngest colleges to be awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for the quality of its undergraduate education, Eckerd has one of the highest proportions of students who study abroad during their college career. In 2008, PC Magazine named Eckerd among the top 20 wired colleges in the nation.

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