From the Manchester College Archives

News Release

Manchester transforms campus

with $70 million fund drive

Campaign concludes 1 year ahead

of schedule, $20 million over goal


       (Jan. 31, 2006) -- Manchester College is celebrating the conclusion of a fund-raising campaign that gathered $70 million – transforming the liberal arts campus and raising $20 million over goal a full year ahead of schedule! 

       The Board of Trustees and President Jo Young Switzer today announced the conclusion of The Next Step! A Campaign to Strengthen Manchester College. “Hope, hard work, and persistence made this campaign a success,” said Dr. Switzer.  “It takes a community to complete a campaign so well.”

       The campaign, begun with a seemingly impossible $49 million goal in 1996, gained momentum in the excitement of the fund-raising, and Trustees four years later re-set the goal at $52 million. The premier projects were a $17 million Science Center; enlarging the athletics, library, parking and College Union facilities; and enhancing technology, the scholarship fund, support for faculty development, liberal arts and the endowment.

       The Trustees also announced today a spring groundbreaking to double the size of the Union – the final project of the fund-raising campaign. The new $7.6 million Union, at almost 52,000 square feet, will become the gathering place for the North Manchester campus, with larger dining commons, the campus store, snack bar, offices for student organizations and career services. 

       Every single project of the campaign exceeded its goal, but some of the successes were stunning:

  • Faculty and program development raised almost $11 million – 727 percent of goal

  • Scholarships totaled more than $8.2 million, exceeding goal by $5.2 million

  • Information technology almost doubled its $500,000 goal

  • Funds for parking, grounds and other public spaces more than quadrupled the $500,000 goal

       Throughout the campaign, Manchester did not break ground on a new building until the full amount of the project was raised. All buildings related to this campaign were built without incurring long-term debt.

  • $17 million Science Center, dedicated in 2005

  • $1.3 million Wine Recital Hall and Link Gallery, dedicated in 2004

  • $1.5 million expansion of Physical Education and Recreation Center, dedicated in 1998

  • $1.4 million renovation of Funderburg Library, dedicated in 1999

  • $7.6 million renovation of College Union, groundbreaking in 2006

       The campaign was ambitious for the small Church of the Brethren college Manchester has 1,100 students and donor base of 15,000 alumni and friends. It also has extraordinary alumni support, which blossomed during the campaign.  Beginning with a donor level of 20 percent of its alumni 10 years ago, 33 percent of the College’s alumni donated in 2005. The national average is about 21 percent.

       Another impressive accomplishment is that 99 percent of the faculty and 69 percent of the staff contributed to the campaign, as well as 100 percent of the Trustees.

       Manchester recorded a 41 percent increase in donors over the life of the campaign – almost 5,000 new donors. Significant was the contribution of Lilly Endowment Inc., which made outright donations and matching grants. These challenge grants helped the College increase donor participation significantly.  “The Endowment fanned the giving fire, providing us with exciting opportunities to multiply the generous donations,” said Switzer.

       Some of the giving was sacrificial. Several members of the Board of Trustees took out loans to meet the challenges, noted Campaign Chair William N. Harper.

       “For each gift, we are immensely grateful,” said Harper, a former Trustee and 1966 graduate of the College, who resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Cassopolis, Mich. “The campaign has generated a momentum that continues to energize campus – excited students learning in new and renovated buildings, with innovative equipment at their fingertips, and taught by expert faculty who are finding ways to become even more effective teachers.”

       Other projects contributing to the campus transformation included the Gladdys Muir Peace Garden, additional parking, burying utility wires, new lighting on the east side of campus and landscaping.

       “When the planners and the organizers met in 1996 to set priorities and form committees (for The Next Step! campaign), we all had a vision,” said Campaign Chair Harper.

       “Together, we committed to preserving the qualities that set Manchester College apart from other colleges or universities our size. Together, we chose to secure the College mission.”

       For more about Manchester College, visit


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