McPherson College is expecting the numbers to show that 2014-2015 was a great year in terms of fundraising and enrollment.
“I’m proud of the work of our faculty and staff this last year,” said President Michael Schneider. “It is no secret that things are tough in higher education. Our team has done a great job serving students and ensuring McPherson College has a place as one of Kansas’s best colleges.”
Dr. Steven Gustafson, vice president for advancement, said that the college’s fundraising exceeded the fiscal-year-end annual fund goal of $1.35 million. Most of those dollars go to support student scholarships. MC also has the largest endowment of any private college in Kansas, he said.
“McPherson College has a solid track record of raising money so that MC is accessible and affordable to this generation of college students,” Dr. Gustafson said. “It’s important for our students to have the opportunity to receive an MC values-centered education. Most importantly, this news means our alumni and friends are passionate about their college and willing to support it with their financial resources.”
Rick Tuxhorn, vice president for finance, said that successful fundraising is a significant factor in helping the college to maintain a balanced budget and keep the cost of education to students affordable. Tuxhorn said many students attend McPherson College at the same cost as at a state institution. In addition to fundraising, Tuxhorn praised all of the college’s faculty and staff for watching their budgetary spending.
“The thanks goes to our alumni and donors for meeting the gift goals,” he said, “as well as our employees for being good stewards of our resources.”
McPherson College has a perfect financial rating (3.0 on a zero to 3.0 scale) from the Department of Education for the last fiscal year, according to Tuxhorn.
It was also a great year in terms of recruiting new students for McPherson College.
Christi Hopkins, vice president for enrollment management, said that the college is anticipating more than 200 first-time, full-time freshmen arriving this fall, which exceeds the department’s goal of 195 students. While that data will be confirmed and verified on the 20th day of classes, the preliminary figures would point to the largest incoming class in the last 40 years, Hopkins said.
McPherson College officials also expect retention of returning students to be up as well. According to Hopkins, the admissions department also had a record number of students visit campus and apply last year.
“These numbers are especially remarkable when considering that six of the admissions and financial aid staff are new since August 2014,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins also attributes the success to the college’s academic departments who have contributed significantly to the recruiting efforts. She said everyone at MC engages students to attract them to campus.
“The success we anticipate comes from the hard work of the entire campus community,” she said, “specifically faculty, coaches, the admissions team and the many other staff people who visit with students and have a part in their arrival in the fall.”