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Anonymous donor pledges $1 billion to liberal arts college in Kansas

July 24, 2023
The donation will make the endowment at McPherson College the largest of any small liberal arts college in the United States.

McPherson College in McPherson, Kan., says an anonymous donor has pledged a contribution of $1 billion to the school's endowment.

The college says that the gift will raise the value of its endowment to $1,592,000,000, which the school says will be the largest endowment of any small liberal arts college in the United States.

The donor initially promised to give $500 million to McPherson if it was successful in receiving at least $250 million in pledges. After the college met that goal, the donor decided to commit an additional $500 million.

“Today is historic, not just for McPherson College, but for all small liberal arts colleges in America,” said McPherson College President Michael Schneider. “I am incredibly grateful to our anonymous donor for giving us an unprecedented opportunity—and responsibility—to build and implement our strategic vision of becoming a destination learning community."

The donor agreement provides the flexibility for the anonymous donor to pay out over time or it is all paid in full upon the donor’s death, which is the latest time at which McPherson College would have access to the anonymous donor’s $1 billion. Most other gifts to meet the challenge will come over time as part of estate commitments.

McPherson says it will be directing the funds toward its academic programs as well as making college more affordable and accessible.

Plans include a renewed collaboration on rural health initiatives, plans for state-of-the-art science and engineering facilities, and a huge boost for students facing challenges affording college.

The college's website says that McPherson has an enrollment of more than 800 students from 33 states and seven countries.


About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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