Ole community exceeds expectation as campaign ends
The Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion. The Piper Center for Vocation and Career. The St. Olaf Emergency Fund for Students. Opportunity funds for students encountering financial barriers to experiential learning opportunities. Permanent funding for internships, international and off-campus study, music ensembles, mentored research, and other programs. A 103.7% increase in annual funding from gifts and endowed funds for financial aid.
These outcomes are among many that constitute the full impact the St. Olaf community has created through For the Hill and Beyond.
On May 31, 2020, St. Olaf completed For the Hill and Beyond, a seven-year comprehensive fundraising campaign to advance high-impact learning, enhance access and affordability, strengthen the college’s residential community, and sustain its mission. More than 25,000 donors — alumni, parents, faculty and staff, students, and friends — committed $252.24 million, the most ever given through a single St. Olaf campaign, far surpassing the $200 million goal.
“We are grateful for the opportunities that this generous participation provides students,” says President David R. Anderson ’74. “The impact is far-reaching, driven by the commitment Oles have to excellence, service, and community. Oles Can! Oles Will!”
More than 25,000 donors — alumni, parents, faculty and staff, students, and friends — committed $252.24 million, the most ever given through a single St. Olaf campaign, far surpassing the $200 million goal.
From the outset, the campaign focused primarily on increasing support for financial aid and operations college-wide through the college’s endowment, which provides permanent support from its annual earnings, and the St. Olaf Fund. More than 825 endowed funds were created or enhanced, including 599 endowed scholarship funds, totaling $96.86 million. The Ole community additionally committed $34.67 million through the St. Olaf Fund, rising to a high of $5 million and beyond annually. Gifts directed to specific programs totalled $46.28 million and supported academic, extracurricular, access, and community initiatives. A total of $74.43 million in future gifts from estates and similar charitable gift plans, primarily to endowed funds, will deepen this impact.
Notably, donors contributed $11 million in the last three months of the campaign.
Among the results realized:
- Financial aid backed by endowed funds and annual gifts has increased 103.7% since 2014; 64.63% more students are supported by these funds
- Aid for international and off-campus study has increased 239.5%; four times as many students now receive support annually
- $276,659 is now awarded annually through opportunity funds
- 92% of students now participate in an internship, mentored research, or similar experiential learning opportunity during their time at St. Olaf
The campaign also included enhancements to academic and athletic facilities, the Center for Advising and Academic Support, and the St. Olaf Natural Lands, and the launch of new centers such as the Institute for Freedom and Community and the Lutheran Center for Faith, Values, and Community in addition to the Taylor Center and Piper Center named above.
To see more details of the impact created by the campaign, visit our website.