Extraordinary Opportunities Campaign breaks record

Cornell College’s Extraordinary Opportunities Campaign raised $105.8 million, the highest total ever for a national liberal arts college in Iowa.The campaign supported improvements to several aspects of life at Cornell, from increases in financial aid through the establishment of endowed scholarships to new academic programs to improvements to campus icons like King Chapel. Gifts to this campaign will allow an already strong liberal arts college to enhance student opportunities, said John Smith ’71, president and CEO of CRST and chair of both the Cornell College board of trustees and the campaign steering committee.

“The Extraordinary Opportunities Campaign has ended,” he said, “but this is just the beginning for Cornell. The generosity of our alumni and friends has allowed us to improve the quality of life and education available to Cornell students. Through the campaign, Cornell College has redefined liberal arts education in the 21st century. We set our sights high and achieved a big goal. We are bullish on our future as one of the nation’s best colleges, and thanks to our longstanding and continued commitment to innovation, I am confident that we will flourish.”

The Campaign began in July 2004 with a goal of $92 million. Important projects supported by the effort include:  the renovation of Pfeiffer Hall, a residence hall that houses 159 students; the restoration of the infrastructure of historic King Chapel; the renovation and expansion of The Commons, which is one of the centerpieces of campus; the introduction of several cross-disciplinary academic programs, including the Berry Center for Economics, Business and Public Policy, Dimensions: The Center for the Science and Culture of Health Care and the Pre-Law program; the creation of the Cornell Fellows Program, a high-level internship program that gives students experience in the world of business, politics and the arts; and the establishment of The McLennan Center in Chicago, a permanent off-campus facility that will accommodate multiple courses in Chicago throughout the academic year.

“The campaign’s priorities serve to leverage the college’s distinctive One Course At  A Time academic calendar,” remarked Interim President, James W. Brown. “This campaign will enhance the extraordinary opportunities for students in the classroom, on campus and around the world.”

By the Numbers:

  • 23 gifts of more than $1 million
  • 8,338 donors to the campaign
  • 57 percent of alumni donated
  • $4.6 million given by members of 50th reunion classes
  • $150,000 given by graduating seniors

Comparison to other national liberal-arts colleges in Iowa

(The totals below are for their respective college’s last completed capital campaign)

Central College, Pella, Iowa: $89.4 million

Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa: $91 million

Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: $72 million

Luther College, Decorah, Iowa: $93.5 million

Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa: $89 million

For more information, contact Jamie Kelly at 319-743-5586 or Peter Wilch at 319-310-0243