Share / Discuss

Changing Lives, Changing the World

One year in, a campaign update

President Valerie Smith kicked off the public launch of Changing Lives, Changing the World on March 31, 2017, with a joyful celebration on the Science Center quad.

At the time of the launch, the College had raised $253 million toward a goal of $450 million (by June 30, 2020) and had already put those funds to work for the benefit of the College. For example, the Matchbox fitness center, Parrish Hall renovations, and the Aydelotte Foundation were made possible by contributions received during the “silent phase.”

Now, thanks to the generosity of more than 10,000 donors, with gifts ranging from a few dollars to millions, our community has collectively given more than $301 million to the campaign as this issue goes to press.

Here are just a few examples of progress from the past year, organized by the campaign’s four primary themes:


Connecting the Liberal Arts

Embedded Travel: Students in the Afro-Cuba Experiential Learning Course traveled to Cuba in spring 2017. The program was a collaboration of the Dean’s Office, Black Cultural Center, Black Studies, Sociology & Anthropology, Linguistics, Spanish, and Latin American and Latino Studies.

Externships: During winter break, 230 students matched with alumni, parents, and friends of the College for Extern Week, an annual opportunity for students to shadow mentors in fields of their interest.

Faculty Research: Professor of Economics Amanda Bayer is using state-of-the-art research to enhance diversity, inclusion, and innovation in the practices, programs, and research at the Federal Reserve and in the economics profession more broadly.


Building an Inclusive Community

Financial Aid: This year, the College continued its commitment to need-blind admission and meeting full need with grants rather than loans by providing $42.5 million to 55 percent of the student body. Approximately half of those funds came from endowed scholarships.

The Student Emergency Fund made nearly $20,000 in distributions last fall for 90 individual needs, including DACA application renewals, medical bills, GMAT registration fees, funeral travel, and externship expenses.


Enhancing our Social Impact

Sustainability: The Green Revolving Fund (GRF) replaced 300 outdoor metal halide lamps. The savings of 165 watts per lamp will reduce expenses by approximately $1,980 per month—savings that have been reinvested into the GRF to support future projects, including lighting upgrades for Friends Historical Library and the Science Center.

Chester Community Fellowships: Through this Lang Center summer program, students spent 10 weeks at local agencies such as the Chester Children’s Chorus, Chester Education Foundation, and Chester Housing Authority.


Creating Vital Spaces

A committee of faculty, staff, and students is evaluating community needs for dining and gathering, determining what type of spaces might be needed and investigating operational requirements.

Interior renovations are preparing Sproul Hall for the Hormel-Nguyen Intercultural Center, opening this fall. The former observatory will bring the Intercultural Center, the Religious and Spiritual Life Office, the Interfaith Center, and the Office of International Student Services under one roof for the first time.

Biology-Engineering-Psychology (BEP): Since Phase 1 construction began in June 2017, the site has been excavated and structural steel installed.