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Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends, Michigan State University’s College of Arts & Letters surpassed its $10 million Empower Extraordinary Capital Campaign goal a little over a year after the public phase of the campaign kicked off.

“This early success was made possible by our generous donors,” said College of Arts & Letters Dean Christopher P. Long. “It offers us a tremendous opportunity to strengthen a culture of philanthropy that will move the College from a position of national prominence to one of international leadership.”

Looking to build upon this momentum, the College of Arts & Letters doubled its goal to $20 million for the final phase of the campaign, which runs through 2018.

To enable the College to reach this new goal, three core fundraising priorities were identified:

  • endowed faculty positions
  • graduate fellowships
  • enriching the undergraduate experience

“At the heart of this new campaign goal is an investment in people,” Long said. “Attracting, retaining, and cultivating talent will enable us to elevate the education we provide to the next generation of engaged and conscientious citizen leaders.”

A key initiative within the undergraduate experience priority is the Citizen Scholars program, which is designed to prepare the next generation of diverse, high-achieving, and engaged citizen leaders. Students in the program will be challenged to perform at a higher level academically while gaining experience in experiential learning environments. They will receive financial assistance to use on study abroad, internships, undergraduate research, or other approved educational experiences.

Several major gifts were instrumental to the College of Arts & Letters reaching its initial campaign goal. They include:

  • Henry O. Timnick (BA Business ’55, MA Business ’58) gifted $2 million to endow the Timnick Chair in the Humanities
  • William and Audrey Farber Family Foundation gifted $1.5 million to endow the William and Audrey Farber Family Chair in Holocaust Studies and European Jewish History
  • Michael (BA History ’66, JD College of Law ’70) and Elaine Serling gifted $500,000 toward the endowment for the Chair in Holocaust Studies and European Jewish History
  • Sam (University Distinguished Professor Emeritus) and Mary Austin gifted $300,000 as lead donors among a group of retired faculty who contributed $750,000 to build a new campus home for MSU’s Summer Circle Theatre

The College of Arts & Letters would like to thank the key campaign volunteers for their support and dedication in the capital campaign effort. They include:

  • Kathleen Flanagan (BA English ’73)
  • Bill (BA History ‘71) and Pamela Lowe
  • Michael Serling  (BA History ’66, JD College of Law ’70)
  • Sara (BA English ’62) and David Taft (PhD Chemistry ’63)

MSU’s $1.5 billion Empower Extraordinary Capital Campaign, officially announced in October 2014, will enable the University to significantly increase its endowment and make substantial new strategic investments on campus and around the world.

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