Claremont McKenna College Celebrates Success of the Campaign for Claremont McKenna and Vows to Maintain Its Momentum

Claremont, Calif., August 7, 2013–– Claremont McKenna College today announced the successful conclusion of The Campaign for Claremont McKenna, which has raised a total of $635.2 million to help build, support, and transform the College’s academic environment. The Campaign raised support for faculty and students, enhancement of the College's facilities, and scholarships through The Fund for CMC.

The Campaign was launched in 2008 with the goal of raising $600 million. Notwithstanding the economic downturn, by the time the Campaign concluded on June 30, 2013, the College had surpassed its ambitious goal by over $35 million.

"Achieving excellence in higher education is incredibly challenging and requires a substantial investment in our students and faculty," says CMC Board of Trustees Chairman Harry T. McMahon ’75 P’08 P’09. "This remarkable campaign strengthened a culture of giving in our Claremont McKenna community that will support our commitment to excellence for years to come. While thousands of individuals contributed to this remarkable success, the leadership of Pamela Gann, Ernie Iseminger, and our Board of Trustees was simply extraordinary."

President Emerita, Trustee Professor of Legal Studies, and George R. Roberts Fellow Pamela Gann noted the significant, longer-term accomplishments of the Campaign: "CMC's fundraising success has been translated into splendid, transformative changes on the campus, from the addition of new faculty, to new scholarship programs, to new co-curricular support for students, to new buildings. All of these outcomes are personally gratifying to me because no college can excel today unless its community is generously committed to ongoing, sustained financial support."

CMC's new president, Hiram Chodosh, who assumed office on July 1, added, “What drives a school founded in 1946 with about $85,000, pledges of future support, and the GI Bill [of Rights] to complete a campaign of this unprecedented magnitude? It is CMC’s singular commitment to a rigorous, eminent liberal arts program that is intensely engaged in the world. We will continue to build on this in every way possible.”

“The efforts of our Board, Advancement Committee, President Emerita Gann, and the entire CMC community have been nothing short of epic,” echoed CMC Vice President of Development and External Relations Ernie Iseminger. “I am so proud of our Advancement division: Development, Alumni and Parent Relations, and Public Affairs, for all their hard work and accomplishments in this Campaign.”

Transformative Commitment

Alumnus, Trustee, and Honorary Campaign Co-Chair Robert Day, Chairman of the Board for Trust Company of the West, provided a visionary gift of $200 million, one of the largest donations ever received by a liberal arts college, for the Robert Day Scholars Program, a unique undergraduate and graduate finance program that combines a rigorous curriculum with a rich co-curricular component. In recognition of this groundbreaking gift, the Board of Trustees renamed the Department of Economics and Finance as The Robert Day School, and the new school is raising the College’s sterling profile in economics, finance, and accounting.

The most conspicuous sign of physical improvement at CMC is the College’s new LEED-Gold Kravis Center, which––designed by world-renowned and award-winning architect Rafael Viñoly. The Kravis Center has transformed the west end of campus by creating an iconic entrance. The five-level academic and administrative facility, dedicated in 2011, is named in honor of Trustee Henry Kravis ’67 and Marie-Josée Kravis for their $75 million unrestricted commitment to CMC during the Campaign. The couple also continued their generous support of the Kravis Leadership Institute at CMC––one of the College’s ten distinguished research institutes––that sponsors classroom and experiential leadership studies and opportunities for students including internships, conferences, leadership camp, civic outreach, and financial support for both private and social entrepreneurial start-ups. Two years prior to the launch of the Campaign, Mr. and Mrs. Kravis established the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership in partnership with CMC, an annual award that provides a cash prize of $250,000 to bold, extraordinary leaders in the nonprofit sector.

The launch of the Roberts Fellows Program in 2006, established by George R. Roberts ’66 P’93, transformed the CMC academic and intellectual landscape. This matching gift, known as the George R. Roberts Faculty Challenge, has enabled CMC to add 27 professorships across a variety of disciplines. It was the largest gift in the history of the College for direct faculty support, and raised a total of $63 million to build, support, and strengthen the College’s academic environment with exceptional scholars.

Within the same year that the Challenge reached its successful conclusion, Mr. Roberts then gave an unrestricted gift of $50 million to the College, which pushed the College past its $600 million Campaign goal. Announced in December 2012, his unrestricted gift led the Board of Trustees to designate, in his honor, a state-of-the-art new fitness and athletics facility as the Roberts Pavilion.

One of the main priorities of the campaign was to elevate alumni participation. Trustee A. Steve Crown ’74, working with the college’s development staff, came up with a revolutionary way to encourage alumni to make four-year pledges to the Annual Fund. For each pledge, Mr. Crown made a matching gift. Over one-third of all alumni have taken the Crown Challenge. Then, last fall, Crown and his wife, Nancy, made a $7.5 million unrestricted gift to CMC, helping propel the Campaign past the $610-million mark. The Board of Trustees then designated Claremont Hall, an award-winning Silver LEED-certified student residence hall, as Crown Hall, in recognition of the gift as well as all of Crown’s other generous contributions during the Campaign.

Maintaining the Momentum

But while CMC celebrates its historic achievement, ongoing support will be crucial as the College plans to focus on increasing student scholarships and financial aid for its high achieving students. “There is still plenty of work to be done,” Iseminger said. “We will never rest on our laurels, and with President Chodosh on board, we will build on the remarkable foundation that’s been established by this Campaign.”

About Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College, established in 1946, excels in preparing students through the liberal arts for leadership in business, the professions, and public affairs. The College is home to more than 130 accomplished teacher-scholars who are dedicated to teaching and to offering unparalleled, collaborative opportunities for student research. CMC offers need-blind admission, innovative programs, an 8-to-1 student-faculty ratio, ten research institutes, free, engaged access to The Claremont Colleges, and a strong and loyal network of alumni and parents committed to educating the next generation of the brightest young men and women for a lifetime of leadership.


Media Contacts:

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Alissa Stedman – 909-607-9246, or 909-621-8099