On Oct. 30, McPherson College launched a $14 million comprehensive campaign called “Power the Future.” For the next three years, the campaign will focus on enhancing opportunities for the college’s most critical resource: The students of McPherson College.
“Students are truly our focus here,” said Michael Schneider, president of McPherson College. “Our entire reason for existing disappears without them. Focusing our campaign on making our high-quality education even stronger makes complete sense. Ultimately, we’re investing in the future of McPherson College by doing so.”
MC has already raised $5 million in lead gifts prior to the kickoff of Power the Future. Over the next three years, the college anticipates adding another $9 million in gifts to achieve its goals.
Steven Gustafson, vice president for advancement, said that the goal is ambitious but achievable, and that he has every confidence that alumni and friends will rise to meet the challenge.
“We know that our community is passionate about their college,” Gustafson said. “This is an opportunity for them to have a significant influence on the teaching and learning experiences of students - both now and in the future.”
The Power the Future campaign has four funding priorities. First is giving to the McPherson College Fund, which directly supports student scholarships, service opportunities, student activities and athletic experiences. McPherson College provided $4 million in scholarships last year to its students based on merit and need.
Tyler Henning, a junior at McPherson College and the Student Government Association president, said that his goal is to someday be able to give back to the MC community in return for giving him the tools he needs to excel in life.
“Attending McPherson College has, without a doubt, been one of the best decisions I have ever made,” Henning said. “Relationships with faculty, staff, and fellow students make my college experience something I will carry with me the rest of my life. I have been able to gain a better understanding of the world around me and discern what I truly value and appreciate, both as a student and an individual.”
The second funding priority is program enhancement for academic departments and athletics. Areas of focus include specialized science and laboratory equipment, additional classroom and curriculum materials, internship opportunities, and an athletic success fund. This fund is designed to help cover the costs of post-season play.
Third are capital projects that will benefit students and further enhance the appearance of campus. Already, the circle drive on Euclid Street has seen new sidewalks, wheelchair and walker cut-outs, and new curbs. An ADA-accessible ramp is also being installed on the north side of Miller Library. Marty Sigwing, director of facilities said the focus of the improvements is on accessibility, student safety, and campus appearance.
Fourth, continuing to build the college’s endowment, focusing on needs that will improve the student experience at MC, is a major priority. Opportunities include endowed faculty positions, permanent student scholarships, and special events such as guest speakers or artistic endeavors.
Donors have many options to choose from as they determine how they will support the Power the Future campaign. While many people give cash, other giving options include appreciated stocks and property, a percentage of an IRA or a life insurance policy, as well as deferred giving opportunities through charitable gift annuities or testamentary gifts.
More than 160 people attended the launch event on Oct. 30. At the dinner, Gustafson quoted a 1997 graduate of McPherson College – Erin Cassidente, who is a mother of five. Cassidente said she gives to McPherson College so that she might see some of her own family graduate from MC.
“I give so that one day in my 90s, I might be blessed to see my grandchild or great-grandchild walk across that stage,” she said in the letter.
Schneider concluded the event by sharing stories of enormous success at McPherson College and calling on the MC community to support the college – not only with gifts, but also with their goodwill.
“We ask that you send us your good vibes,” he said, “You send us your love, you send us your prayers, and you continue to support McPherson College in all the amazing ways that you have supported her in the past.”