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  • Brian Freiberger

Olivet announces public fundraising campaign

President Steven Corey publicly announced a fund-raising campaign “Responsible Learners - Responsible Leaders” Friday, Sept. 29, to raise $44 million in by 2019. The announcement was made in grand style at the Homecoming alumni dinner, held in the Cutler Athletic Complex.

The College has already raised $38 million, 78 percent of the campaign goal during its “quiet phase,” that started in 2015. These funds include $18 million in cash and $15 million in estate investments. This has been the college’s largest fund-raising effort in school history, according to

Out of the $38 million already raised, three individual donors have given roughly $20 million, including the largest single donation in school history, $12 million. Also, seven other donors have contributed “leadership gifts” of $1 million each, and 32 separate donors have contributed $100,000.

“The dollars raised is tremendous. I appreciate each and every one of you who have contributed and will contribute in the future,” said Corey during the dinner, held to honor distinguished alumni and new Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.

The college originally set out with a goal to raise $42 million before adjusting it to $44 million while the campaign was already in motion. “We have had aggressive objectives in the past several years that have required new levels of investment to compete in a difficult environment of higher education. I am pleased to say that your college is thriving day in and day out,” said Corey at the event.

The campaign will effectively double Olivet’s endowment from $9 million to $18 million when the campaign is over. The funds raised will be used for day-to-day operations, scholarships, and three buildings.

With the effort of this campaign, Olivet has zeroed in on building a new student center. “That is essential for the future of this institution,” said Corey. The student center, which will replace MacKay gymnasium, does not have a set date, but is planned within the next couple of years. Also during the dinner, the college announced an expansion of the Cutler Athletic Complex, and also updating the Mott Academic Center, which was celebrated for its 50th year during this Homecoming.

Olivet’s Senior Director of Annual Giving and Donor Services Carol Flannigan has been at the forefront of the fund-raising effort since her hire in 2014. “It’s really exciting, especially when we first talked about the numbers - it was crazy. We have discovered and built relationships with alumni that wasn’t possible before,” said Flannigan.

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