Hillsdale College received more than $200 million in new donations in its latest fiscal year, which ended in June, setting a new record for its fundraising.
“People in large numbers love the mission of the College and how we pursue it. Our determination to carry on pursuing it has been much admired by many,” President Larry Arnn said in an email.
The college began the Four Pillars Campaign last October when it celebrated its 175th anniversary and dedicated Christ Chapel. The fundraising effort, which seeks to raise $686.8 million by 2024, draws its name from the four pillars described in the college’s founding documents and articles of association: learning, character, faith, and freedom.
Because Hillsdale doesn’t accept federal funding, the college relies on the generosity of supporters to continue in its mission. The capital campaign will primarily fund undergraduate scholarships, as well as general operations, according to Nancy Johnson, a vice president of institutional advancement.
Other funds will support endowments for outreach projects such as the Barney Charter School Initiative, and capital projects such as New Dorm, which is yet to be fully funded.
According to Calvin Stockdale, senior director of institutional advancement, the Four Pillars Campaign goes “right back at the core of what Hillsdale is as an undergraduate education.”
Danny Drummond, institutional advancement associate, weighed in on Arnn’s push for the program.
“Dr. Arnn is always going to fight for what he knows to be right, and for what Hillsdale has always stood for,” Drummond said.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Arnn continued to reach out to Hillsdale supporters. Johnson said supporters continue to view Hillsdale as a “voice of reason in these uncertain times.”
The campaign also aims to endow about 50 faculty chairs in the music department, the developing master’s program in classical education, and elsewhere. Arnn, along with senior-level staff and Provost Chris VanOrman, plan to meet this week to discuss the use of these endowments.
Hillsdale’s commitment to returning to in-person classes and holding an in-person graduation encouraged the supporters of Hillsdale’s mission, Johnson said.
“They believe that our students are key to the future leadership of our country, both in big and small ways, both in public office and as citizen leaders and educators, in families, and in business — in communities across the nation,” she said. “They believe in and want to support you and your fellow students.”