CAMPAIGN NEWS:

Talents Campaign Cracks
$100 Million in Gifts and Pledges

Just $4 Million Left to Meet
$105 Million Goal by June 30, 2010


August 13, 2009

Muhlenberg College’s comprehensive campaign, The Talents Entrusted to Our Care, has broken the $100 million mark and secured $101 million in gifts and pledges.

Over the past decades, Muhlenberg has grown in reputation, student selectivity and financial stability. The Talents Campaign represents an expansion of the College’s 1999-2006 Pride and Progress Campaign and is designed to support the objectives of Muhlenberg’s most recent strategic plan (also titled The Talents Entrusted to Our Care”). Muhlenberg launched the public phase of this campaign on April 26, 2008 to raise money for:

  1. Endowment (“The People Entrusted to Our Care”)
  2. Capital Projects (“The Places Entrusted to Our Care”)
  3. The Muhlenberg Fund (“The Experience Entrusted to Our Care”)

Each of the three priorities of the campaign has a goal of $35 million for a total goal of $105 million by June 30, 2010. The Talents Entrusted to Our Care: The Campaign for Muhlenberg College is an ambitious undertaking – the largest fundraising campaign in the College’s history.

“Given the extraordinary economic challenges of the past year or so it is truly remarkable that Muhlenberg's Talents Campaign continues to make not just steady, but impressive progress toward its $105 million goal,” says Muhlenberg President Randy Helm. “Of course, reaching the finish line by next June will require renewed determination by our alumni, parents and friends. But we’re up to it!”

In spite of the turbulent economy, Muhlenberg has consistently balanced its budget and, as recently as April 2009, the College’s A1/A+ credit rating was upheld by Moody’s and S&P – a claim that many institutions whose credit ratings have been downgraded this year cannot make.

Additional noteworthy accomplishments of the Talents Campaign include: 

  • The construction of a new LEED-certified science building and the total renovation of Shankweiler (56,000 square feet of new and renovated space all together) that have enabled Muhlenberg to secure our reputation for pre-eminence in undergraduate science education and restore biology to its former place as one of the top three undergraduate majors. 
  • The creation of six new residence halls, resulting in 137 additional beds on campus (and the replacement of MacGregor Village). 
  • The expansion of Seegers Union to include new meeting rooms and expanded quarters for Career Services, Academic Resources and Disability Services (phase 1), with construction now underway for a new kitchen, servery, dining hall, student offices and an expanded bookstore (phase 2). 
  • The addition of eight tenure-track lines to strengthen existing departments (art, music, political science, biology, sociology/anthropology), and to catalyze the development of new interdisciplinary programs such as neuroscience and film studies. 
  • The creation of other interdisciplinary programs such as public health and African-American studies as well as the creation of a finance concentration in ABE, and curricular innovation in philosophy, religion studies and other departments. 
  • A significant expansion of opportunities for summer student research (from 7 fellowships to 29 over the past five years), and the creation of student research assistantships. 
  • Creation of a robust service-learning curriculum, now providing 23 courses spanning the full range of the curriculum, which affords students opportunities to apply classroom theory to practice in service to the community. 
  • Dramatic expansion in study abroad opportunities (from 35 to 153 programs over the past five years) and a correspondingly dramatic increase in student utilization of such opportunities (from 32.3% to 52.4% of graduates over the past five years). 
  • The creation of 43 new techwalls (for a current total of 73) for new and existing classrooms, strengthening of the campus technology infrastructure, and expansion of the wireless network to 38% of campus building spaces.  
  • Development of a landscaping and tree maintenance plan for the campus, including the removal of approximately 14 sick and dying trees, the planting or replanting of 36 trees, and the renovation and re-landscaping of Parents’ Plaza. (Some other trees have been removed as part of construction projects). 
  • Strategic acquisition of real estate on or near the campus to provide additional housing for faculty families. 
  • The creation of a Multicultural Center guided by a student-faculty-alumni advisory board, and the recruitment of a new director in support of the College’s diversity goals. 
  • The creation of a “West End Theatre District” initiative, working with local merchants and others to revitalize the restaurant, entertainment and shopping environment within walking distance of the campus.

Projects currently underway or ready to launch in the next 12 months include:

  • The expansion of our overtaxed Hillel facility and creation of new academic facilities for sociology/anthropology (pending the success of our fundraising efforts); and 
  • The conversion of the former TKE fraternity house into a Rehearsal House for the use of the music and theatre departments.

For more information about The Talents Entrusted to Our Care Campaign, visit www.muhlenberg.edu/talentscampaign. To learn more about campaign gifts visit the News and Events page. For more information on making a campaign gift, contact Connie Harris, Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations, at 484-664-3247 or charris@muhlenberg.edu.

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