Colgate Accepts $10M Gift

On Thursday, April 6, a member of the Board of Trustees announced a $10 million donation to Colgate by an anonymous alumnus.

Colgate has received larger gifts in the past, but never before has such a large contribution been made without a request for personal acknowledgement. According to administrators, the gift has sparked excitement in the University’s future.

“When the gift was announced at a recent trustee meeting there was a really deep gasp followed by lengthy and loud applause,” Dr. Murray L. Decock ’80, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Campaign Director said. “There was this incredible admiration for the selfless nature of this generosity.”

The donor did not specify an area to which the money should be funded.

“The donor is not using their charitable funds to drive one of their own ideas; instead, they ultimately gave the gift to the college and let the college ultimately direct where it will be best utilized,” Dedock said. “It is a rare sight in higher education these days when so many donors lack trust in not-for-profit institutions and want to attach very specific strings to their funds, essentially restricting their use in very limited ways.”

Around $8.5 million of the contribution will be put toward the construction of the Ho Science Center, Case Library, and other campus facilities, according to the Colgate website.

The other $1.5 million will support Colgate’s strategic plan.

University President Rebecca Chopp wrote about the impact of the gift on the strategic plan in a letter on the Colgate website.

“A gift of this magnitude, focused in this way, really has the power to transform Colgate as we implement a strategic plan that puts into place the facilities and programs necessary to support our most precious asset – our people,” she wrote.

The donor, who prefers to remain unidentified, sent out a statement regarding the gift.

“This gift is about more than appreciation,” the donor said in a letter on the Colgate website. “It is about the opportunity to have a transformative impact on Colgate, and to benefit many people beyond the immediate community by supporting the talented people who make this university great.”

The letter reflects a confidence in Chopp’s leadership and her vision for Colgate.

“When you find an institution with the rare confluence of management, vision, and leadership that Colgate has, it is clear that one’s investment can result in significant progress in resolving many of the issues confounding our world,” the donor said. “I have great confidence that Colgate graduates appreciate the complexity of these issues and are committed to advancing – individually and through collaboration – understanding and reducing ignorance for our collective benefit.”