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$200 million record gift for liberal arts education
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$200 million record gift for liberal arts education

President Lori S. White announced that DePauw University received $200 million to support the pillars of its strategic plan, marking a tremendous investment in the future of the university and liberal arts education.

This represents the largest gift ever given to DePauw University and one of the largest gifts bestowed on an American university.

The university received $150 million from an anonymous donor and $50 million in supporting matches from other donors to champion the goals of DePauw’s strategic plan.

“We are humbled by these gifts and grateful for the confidence they demonstrate in our vision for DePauw,” White said.

“Thanks to support at this scale, we can focus on ensuring that our core academic programs and offerings are extraordinary in every way. We know that our aspirations for DePauw – to be a new model for a liberal arts college for the 21st century – will require further philanthropic support, and this gift – and those it will inspire – are essential to advancing the accomplishments of our incredible community of students, faculty, staff and alumni in the future.”

Announced in March 2022, DePauw’s Bold and Gold 2027 strategic plan outlines a four-part vision for academic renewal centered on the liberal arts and sciences, a vibrant and exemplary student experience, a commitment to institutional equity, and a focus on financial and operational stewardship to ensure DePauw’s future as a flourishing university.

A principal pillar of the strategic plan is creating the three-school model, which includes strengthening the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and an equally strong commitment to DePauw’s new School of Business and Leadership and Creative School. Launching in fall 2024, the Creative School will champion innovation and collaboration and be an inspiration for students of diverse talents to engage in the multidisciplinary exploration at the core of today’s technology, arts and media cultures. In total, $64 million of the funds raised will be dedicated to the Creative School.

The funds will bolster initiatives across the institution and all four pillars of the strategic plan, supporting faculty, scholarships and financial aid, student and spiritual life, and athletics. Three-quarters of the funds raised will support the university’s endowment.

“DePauw is a university that changes lives,” said Doug I. Smith, ’85, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees. “These generous gifts lay the foundation for a lasting legacy and will foster remarkable innovation and empower all members of the DePauw community for years to come. It is not just a financial investment; it is a profound commitment to the boundless potential of a DePauw education.”

These funds build upon the previous $40 million the university received to support the School of Business and Leadership, marking a total of $240 million in major gifts to support the DePauw Bold and Gold 2027 strategic plan. The $150 million gift is the second at this scale that DePauw has received in its 187-year history. In 1999, DePauw received $128 million to support teaching and learning.

“DePauw has long had extraordinary support from donors – alumni and friends of the university who have given gifts large and small – who believe in its mission to produce leaders prepared for the careers and the challenges of the day and those not yet imagined,” said Dr. White. “We are honored that so many recognize the far-reaching, life-changing education DePauw offers and that they continue to invest in us.”


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