McPherson College president: $25 million donation was ‘a great surprise’
MCPHERSON, Kan. (KWCH) - As the McPherson college class of 2022 departed for their future, the college itself learned its future would be supported with a sizable donation.
A $25 million donation was gifted to McPherson College during their graduation ceremony. The gift comes from philanthropists Melanie and Robert Lundquist to the college of about 800 students.
Dr. Melanie Lundquist says, “you heard correctly, $25 million, you’re welcome. First big philanthropic bet outside of California.”
This is the largest gift that McPherson College has ever received, but it’s also one of the largest for any higher education institution in Kansas. The president of the college, Michael Schneider, says this will help with several key initiatives they have underway.
Schneider says, “we had an idea there would be a significant gift, but what a great surprise at graduation. We’re going to be doing some transformational things with this gift to make education better and, in a lot of ways, create models that others can follow across the country.”
The gift is part of the $53 million the college has raised for its “Building Community” campaign in the last three years. Schneider says the money will be going to a new student center, helping expand their academic programs and student debt projects.
“Students can work while they attend college, we set them up in a cohort, so they get lots of support around financial literacy, creating a budget helping balance work, life, and school, and then we incentive $.25 on every dollar that they contribute to the project, we help pay down their debt,” said Schneider.
When it can be a struggle for small liberal arts colleges, McPherson College sees this donation as a helping hand to prepare them for the future.
Schneider says, “isn’t trying to be all things to all people. It’s very focused on the student experience and building our academic programs.”
The Lundquist has been involved with McPherson College for about a decade and recently gifted the McPherson College a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona worth $600,000 for the school’s auto restoration program.
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