All posts by Don Troop


Anonymous Donor Makes $100-Million Gift to Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College announced on Wednesday a gift of $100-million from an anonymous donor that will be used to hire faculty members, support interdisciplinary research, and expand the institution’s global impact.

It is the largest gift in Dartmouth’s history, and it includes a 2-to-1 matching challenge, which could double the total sum if other donors give an additional $100-million by the end of 2015.

Philip J. Hanlon, who became Dartmouth’s president last year, termed the gift “an exceptional …


Many Colleges ‘Hoard’ Endowments During Rough Economic Times

When the economy is doing well, many colleges increase their endowment spending on new programs, new buildings, new positions, and breaks in tuition. But when times are tough—at precisely the moment that campuses could most use the money—colleges’ endowment managers are less likely to spend it.

“That’s a really strange thing to do if the purpose of the endowment is at least in part to help the university overcome economic shock,” says Jeffrey R. Brown, a professor of finance at the Univers…


Fund Raisers Predict 5.2% Growth in Gifts to Education This Year

Donations to colleges, universities, and private elementary and secondary schools rose an estimated 5.1 percent in the 2013 fiscal year, and fund-raising professionals expect to see that rate increase to 5.2 percent in 2014, according to a new survey by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

The CASE Fundraising Index, which is compiled twice a year, is based on a survey of 1,800 CASE-member institutions in the United States. The January survey had a response rate of 10.1 percent.


Report Notes Sharp Rise in Giving to Education in 2013

Charitable gifts to colleges and other educational institutions rebounded in 2013 thanks to a recovering economy, a booming stock market, and the cultivation of major donors, says a new report by Blackbaud, a company that makes fund-raising technology.

Overall gifts to education rose 6.5 percent in 2013, and online giving to education was up 14.4 percent, says the “Charitable Giving Report.” Giving to charities of all kinds grew an average of 4.9 percent, while online giving grew 13.5 percent, t…


Columbia U. Completes $6.1-Billion Campaign

Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, announced in a letter to alumni on Thursday that the institution had collected $6.1-billion in a seven-year capital campaign that concluded on December 31.

It was the biggest sum raised by an Ivy League institution and the second largest in higher education, behind Stanford University’s $6.2-billion in a campaign that ended in 2011. Harvard University announced a $6.5-billion campaign last fall.

Donations to the Columbia campaign included a $40…


Now, Even Campus Buildings Will Revolve Around Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame football

(Image courtesy of U. of Notre Dame)

Football has long been the symbolic center of the University of Notre Dame. Now it has moved a step closer to becoming the physical center as well, as the university announced on Wednesday a plan to attach 750,000 square feet of new building space to the south, east, and west sides of Notre Dame Stadium.

The $400-million Campus Crossroads Project will include research and classroom space, academic offices, premium sports seating, and the obligatory climbing w…


$50-Million Gift to Establish Bioscience Center at U. of Southern California

A rendering of the planned USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience (foreground), with the existing Irani Hall behind it. (Image courtesy of USC)

A rendering of the planned USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience (foreground), with the existing Irani Hall behind it. (Image courtesy of USC)

A retired orthopedic spinal surgeon plans to announce on Monday a $50-million gift for an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Southern California that he hopes will generate a wave of inventions in the biosciences.

The donation, by Gary K. Michelson, will establish the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, where resea…


The Secrets of ‘Million-Dollar Ready’ Colleges

Less than a third of American colleges managed to attract individual donations of $1-million or more from 2000 to 2012, leaving the other two-thirds to wonder: What is their secret?

According to a study released on Tuesday, a number of factors influence an institution’s chances of landing a big gift, including presidential tenure, the student experience, and the philanthropic example that its board members set.

Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the fund-raising consult…


$125-Million Bequest Swells U. of the Pacific’s Endowment

The University of the Pacific announced on Thursday that it had received a $125-million bequest that increased the size of its endowment by 59 percent and would allow it to plow more money into scholarships.

In a 2007 announcement of the donor’s intentions, the university estimated the bequest would be worth $100-million, but it said on Wednesday that the size of the gift had swollen by a quarter over the past six years.

The donors were Robert C. and Jeannette Powell, both of whom served as rege…


On Her Way Out, U. of Mich. Chief Gives $1-Million for Scholarships

Campus Initiative, Kim Clarke

(Photo courtesy U. of Michigan at Ann Arbor)

[Updated (10/8/2013, 9:33 p.m.) with details on additional presidential gifts.]

Everyone loves to knock college presidents for drawing exorbitant salaries at a time when many students are struggling to pay tuition. On Tuesday the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor’s president, Mary Sue Coleman, announced that she and her husband, Kenneth M. Coleman, would give something back: $1-million to support study-abroad scholarships for Michigan students.

To b…