By: Olivia Wile
It is both student tuition and the generous donors that keep private academic institutions running. This applies to the University of Findlay, with an enrollment of about 3,000 students. Is also applies to Kenyon College in Gambier, Oh.
On Sept. 18, news broke that the Division III College, with a total of 1,600 enrolled students, received a hefty donation from an anonymous donor – that of $75 million.
According to Columbus Dispatch Staff Writer Jennifer Smola, not only was the donation the largest in Kenyon’s 200-year history, but also the largest single gift any private school in Ohio has ever received.
Vice President for University Advancement, Marcia Latta, Ed.D. expresses her excitement for Kenyon College.
“I think it’s absolutely awesome. We celebrate with them,” Latta said.
Smola states the $75 million will go towards a new library and academic quad for Kenyon.
With the news of this massive donation making headlines, the importance of donations to private institutions is emphasized. Although UF has not received a donation of that magnitude, donations can still come as a surprise to the University.
“Of that size, no,” Latta stated in regards to the $75 million, “but unexpected, absolutely.”
In the case a donation is unrestricted, Latta explains that depending on the size, Dr. Fell, the Cabinet, and the Board of Trustees will determine what on campus takes first priority. “Most of the time, it is not unrestricted,” Latta said. “The majority of donors, particularly gifts five figs and above, usually designate causes to where it’s for.”
Dr. Latta explains that donations of any amount make a difference in the UF community.
“Well, donations of all sizes make a difference,” Latta stated. “There is not a single student that does not benefit from private philanthropy.” Outside donors are not the only ones who actively support UF. “Last fiscal year, 83% of faculty and staff contributed to support UF,” said Latta.
Although UF is about twice the size of Kenyon College, both are liberal arts institutions in Ohio that benefit from generous donors.
With the addition of the new Center for Student Life and College of Business building, Findlay continues to grow as a result of donations. “Really just about every place on campus and everyone you talk to has been impacted,” Latta stated.