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Development Update

Fall 2015


Looking back: According to the Office of Advancement, the College raised nearly $52 million during the 2014-15 fiscal year ending June 30—the second highest total in the College’s fundraising history for a single year.

“That is a terrific sign of the strength and commitment of our community,” said Ernie Iseminger, Vice President for Advancement. “The reason why CMC leads the nation’s private liberal arts colleges is because we keep expanding and enriching what our students receive. That wouldn’t be possible without our community’s support and belief in our mission.”

Among the factor’s contributing to last fiscal year’s success are: record-breaking years for both the Office of Planned Giving (which topped the list of peer institutions across the country, including Pomona College) and for the Annual Fund; and a host of commitments in support of new scholar communities established as part of The Student Imperative.

Currently these Imperative scholar communities include the Conte First Generation American Scholars, Dreier Roundtable Scholars, Kravis Scholars, Wagener Family Global Scholars, and several others. While two (Dreier and Wagener) provide support to students for experiential learning in the summer between the freshman and sophomore years, the other pair (Conte and Kravis) supports accessibility and honor those students who are first generation Americans or first in their families to attend college.

Other gifts during the 2014-15 fiscal year that are leading to new student programming and academic opportunities include: the Lewis Family Inland Empire Changemaking Fund; a gift to establish training in research and journalism in East Asia under the auspices of the Keck Center; the naming gift for the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights; EnviroLab Asia, a five-college interdisciplinary grant to study environmental issues; and the establishment of new scholarships, including an endowed scholarship fund named in honor of emeritus professor Gordon Bjork (see sidebar for more on the Bjork scholarship fund).

The new year: With the start of the 2015-16 academic year, the Office of Advancement reports—as of the publication of this issue of CMC Magazine—that it is closing in on the initial $100-million financial aid and scholarship goal in cash and pledges for the Imperative, which was first announced to the Board of Trustees in December 2013 and presented by President Hiram Chodosh in Washington DC in January, 2014. 

‘[T]he days are long gone when students could work their way to an undergraduate degree’ 

Bjork scholarship fund nearly doubles thanks to a growing list of supporters

In less than a year, the Gordon Bjork Endowed Scholarship Fund has grown from $180,000 to nearly $300,000 as more of the emeritus economics professor’s former students join the effort. 

The Bjork Fund is designed to both support students interested in studying applied economics and honor an educator who has inspired many generations of CMCers, especially those enrolled in Bjork’s famous “banksim” course.

“Thanks for making it possible for subsequent generations of students to benefit from a very special place,” Bjork wrote in a recent letter to Mark Schwartz ’78, who is the fund’s lead organizer.

Similar letters from Bjork have been sent to all of the fund’s supporters, thanking them for assisting in the College’s efforts, under The Student Imperative, to establish more funding support in the name of affordability and accessibility.

“Endowed scholarships are the basis of accessibility at private colleges—the days are long gone when students could work their way to an undergraduate degree,” Bjork explains in the letter to Schwartz.

He also credits CMC President Hiram Chodosh for recognizing this challenge and for making “the enlargement of CMC’s scholarship endowments the number one priority of his administration. The college continues to prioritize the development of students and, from my association with generations of students, I judge that it continues to do an excellent job.”

As of the publication of this issue, the fund’s current donors are: Arthur Alvarez ’82, Jeffrey Birdwell ’81, Meredith Brenholdt-Sandland ’98, Elliott Broidy P’19, Drew Collins ’85, Neil Collins ’87, Maureen Downey ’93, Russell Greenberg ’79 P’18, Arminé Guledjian ’99, Don Logan ’79, Russell Skibsted ’82, Bruce Soll ’79 P’12 P’15 P’17, Michael Standlee ’91, and Scott Turicchi ’85. 

To lend your support to the Bjork fund, contact Associate Director of Leadership Giving Todd Mandel at 

This fall, the College celebrated the installation of Adrienne Martin as first holder of the Akshata Murty ’02 and Rishi Sunak Associate Professor of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and George R. Roberts Fellow; and the establishment of the Accenture Changemaker Fund, which was made possible by Accenture North American CEO and CMC Trustee Julie Spellman Sweet ’89, to support student innovation and thought-leadership projects.