LaGrange reaches $65 million campaign milestone
May 28, 2009
Gifts and pledges to the current Defining
Moment fundraising campaign have surpassed the $65 million goal,
according to LaGrange College officials.
“We have crossed the threshold into a
new era for this institution,” said Stuart Gulley, president until June
30. “As we work to complete this campaign, we empower LaGrange College
to reach new heights.”
With a goal nearly twice that of its most recent fundraising effort
and the most ambitious one in the school’s 178-year history, the
campaign was announced in the fall of 2007 and continues until year’s
end. Its main components are the building of a new campus library,
including related construction, and the enhancement of programs and
operations for the benefit of students.
The library project was completed last month as the campus observed
the dedication of its new 45,000 square-foot Frank and Laura Lewis
Library. The building is expected to receive LEED silver certification,
meaning it meets the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council for
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Campaign Chair Scott Hawkins, a LaGrange alumnus and principal of
Atlanta’s Resource Real Estate Partners, pointed to a strong belief in
the institution’s mission for the project’s momentum.
“Though we still have work to do with seven months left in this
campaign, it is rewarding to see friends step forward who believe in the
mission of challenging the minds and inspiring the souls of students,”
he said. “Difficult economic conditions notwithstanding, people have
been willing to help this college reach its vision of being Georgia’s
premier private liberal arts and sciences institution.
“This is truly a defining moment with an impact that will reverberate on campus for years to come.”
According to Hawkins, a number of foundations made lead gifts
toward the library project that were important to the campaign’s early
Callaway Foundation Inc. made a $6 million commitment to the
construction of the new library. The Lettie Pate Evans Foundation
pledged $2.5 million, and an anonymous Atlanta foundation contributed
The campaign also has seen 100 percent participation from the
College’s trustees, faculty and other volunteer groups. Hawkins himself
provided $1.5 million, the largest gift the institution has received
from a living alumnus.
The completion of the fundraising effort will be overseen by Dr.
Dan McAlexander, the current provost of Belmont University in Nashville,
Tenn., who becomes LaGrange’s 25th president on July 1.
During his tenure, Belmont experienced an overall enrollment
increase of 68 percent, while seeing spikes in average ACT scores. The
school also launched a number of new academic programs and added three
new residence halls and a $22 million health and science building
during his time there.
Gulley said he was confident that the college’s friends would continue their support.
“LaGrange’s path to prominence will continue under Dr. McAlexander’s
leadership,” he said, “and I am convinced that those who believe in
LaGrange College will continue to provide the resources it needs for the
next chapter of its growth.”
A four-year liberal arts and sciences college affiliated with the
United Methodist Church, LaGrange College is ranked in the top 10 and
as a “best value” among 95 Southern baccalaureate colleges by U.S. News
& World Report. The college is the oldest private institution of
higher learning in Georgia and has an enrollment of about 1,000