McPherson College in Kansas recently received a monumental boost to its endowment with a generous pledge of $500 million from an anonymous donor. This remarkable donation, the second of its kind, follows a previous $500 million pledge, bringing the college’s total endowment to a record-breaking $1.59 billion. With approximately 800 students, this amounts to an impressive $1.99 million per student.
The college’s president, Michael Schneider, expressed profound gratitude, stating that this historic moment is not only significant for McPherson College but for all small liberal arts colleges in the United States. The funds will help the college realize its strategic vision of becoming a leading destination for learning.
The endowment will be named after two late professors, Drs. John Ward and John Burkholder, to honor their contributions to the college. Endowments are essential for the sustained support of colleges and universities, as they generate income from investments.
Prior to this extraordinary pledge, the college embarked on a fundraising campaign with a goal of reaching $1 billion. The previous largest donation was $25 million from the Lundquist family, known for their philanthropic endeavors and connection to The Giving Pledge initiative.
McPherson College’s unique automotive program also caught the attention of notable donors, including the late-night talk show host Jay Leno and the Lundquist family. Their contributions have further elevated the college’s reputation.
In the realm of endowment gifts, the $1 billion commitment from the anonymous donor stands among the highest, with only five known donations of $1 billion or more. In 2018, Johns Hopkins University was donated by Michael Bloomberg with a historic contribution, then believed to be the most substantial donation ever made to a college, totaling $1.8 billion. This transformative pledge will undoubtedly shape the future of McPherson College, cementing its position as a trailblazing institution in higher education.