On October 8, 2015, the Board of Trustees formally accepted a $25 million gift challenge from our longtime friend and Trustee, Jim McDonnell and his family. With fulfillment of this unprecedented opportunity now before us, we have the chance to help secure the future of this noble and beloved college.
This largest gift in our history is among the single largest gifts ever made to any college our size. The McDonnell funds – which will be added to the College’s permanent endowment - and all matching gifts and commitments for whatever purpose are part of the 10-year, $100 million Secure the Future Campaign that runs from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2018. The Campaign stood at $40 million at the time of the Challenge announcement.
Jim McDonnell’s enlightened philanthropy is not only our most generous gift opportunity ever, but is designed to inspire a similar and magnanimous response from every person who cares about D&E. The gift will occur in a stepped approach requiring matching funds from other donors with incremental goals along the way. Here are the terms and what we must do to qualify for the full $25 million:
- The first $10 million of the McDonnell commitment to the endowment is made without a matching condition. It thus brings the current Campaign total to $50 million.
- Once we receive gift and estate commitments from others for the next $25 million, bringing the Campaign total to $75 million, Jim and the McDonnell family foundations will add $5 million to the Campaign, bringing the total to $80 million.
- Then when others commit another $5 million, bringing the Campaign total to $85 million, Jim and the McDonnell family foundations will add another $5 million, bringing the Campaign total to $90 million.
- Finally, when the rest of us commit a still additional $5 million, bringing the Campaign total to $95 million, Jim and the McDonnell family foundations will add the final $5 million, bringing the Campaign total to $100 million.
These are large sums, some of which will be achieved through the generosity of large donors. But gifts of every size are important to this historic effort.
In making his gift offer, Jim McDonnell noted, "I have watched Davis & Elkins College up close for some time and decided it is a place worthy of further serious investment. Given its progress in recent years, my family and I want to do our part – and encourage others – to help assure the long-term future of the College.”
The accompanying Confirmation of Gift and Estate Provision form as well as Gift Table will hopefully be helpful as we each consider the part we will want to have in responding to this extraordinary opportunity. Please feel free to be in touch directly with Karen Wilmoth, our Director of Development (304-637-1374), or with me (304-830-3900).