Over homecoming weekend in October, the University of Redlands launched a major capital campaign, Forever Yours, with an enthusiastic musical show to present the goals of their fundraising efforts. The musical presentation, while exciting and compelling, lacked some important specifics on how the $200 million endorsement for the university would be spent, leaving some confusion from the audience and current students as to why exactly we were raising such a massive sum of money. Without specific details regarding where the money would be going, I was puzzled as to why the university had put so much effort into such an elaborate production. It seemed as though the university was getting people excited about donating money, without giving them any real reason as to why they should donate to begin with.
The campaign presentation attributed endowment donations to certain “pillars” of the University of Redlands, which seemed vague and inapplicable, all with a seemingly too-perfect goal of making the university “Forever Yours,” a phrase that was undoubtedly coined to target alumni. However, upon further research, it is clear that the funds from the largest monetary endorsement campaign ever to be held at the University of Redlands will be allocated to some aspects of life here at the university that are very important to me.
The pillars mentioned throughout the presentation included scholarship promise, personalized education, experiential learning, global perspectives and educational innovation. It was difficult to see how $200 million would be effectively applied to uphold these pillars, whose meaning was even hard to decipher. Looking through the university’s comprehensive plan of how they would appropriate the Forever Yours donation helped define the ambiguous pillars and demonstrates what the school really values.
The Forever Yours endowment, as shown on the website, will be allocated to each of the pillars addressed in the following ways.
The Scholarship Promise: $100 million of the $200 million will be used solely for merit and need-based scholarships, which ensures that students of any economic background will continually be able to attend this school.
Personalized Education: As stated on the website and shown through individual students’ experiences, University of Redlands is known for having faculty who care enough to work individually with students and help them learn to reach their goals. As such, $25 million of the fundraising efforts will be put towards endowing faculty positions, $10 million will be used to endow academic programs and $5 million will work to expand academic facilities.
Experiential Learning: Students attend school this University not just to receive a quality education, but to also become well-rounded individuals. That’s why the school is allotting $15 million to build or remodel athletic facilities, $12 million to add an additional space to the library, $8 million to endow faculty and chair positions, $4 million to endow student research and internship opportunities and $1 million for community service learning.
Global Perspectives: The University of Redlands has many study abroad programs, as traveling the world widens perspectives and helps students learn more about the world. This accumulates to $3 million being used to endow the Salzburg abroad program, $2.5 million to endow a department chair in global learning, $1.5 million for financial aid for study abroad programs, $1 million for international visiting scholars and $500,00 for general support of international programs.
Educational Innovation: Lastly, the university will be putting $4.5 million of the endowment of innovation towards business, education, arts and sciences, $3 million to endow the Johnston community and an additional $2.5 million to support any other innovative efforts.
I believe it’s especially worthwhile that the university is dedicating so many funds to its scholarship promise, because the amount of scholarship money Redlands awards is an essential part of why so many students are able to attend this school. Overall, it seems that the university is working hard to allocate funds to help students pursue important parts of their education so that they can succeed during their time at Redlands and continue to find success throughout their future as a Bulldog alum.
photo by reporter, Sarah Hall