A historic gift with transformational impact for McPherson College.
McPherson College has received an irrevocable $500 million estate commitment to its endowment. It is the largest single commitment to a small, liberal arts college in the United States. As part of the “double-match” estate gift, the anonymous donor will contribute two dollars for every dollar given by others, up to $500 million in total to the college’s endowment.
The match has been met. The college exceeded the goal with $342 million in endowment commitments. See the July 21, 2023 announcement of the Ward-Burkholder Endowment.
About the Match
- The gift is in the form of a double-match challenge for McPherson College. For every $1 given to McPherson College by others, the match donor will give $2, for every $2, the match donor will give $4, etc., up to $500 million. McPherson College has until June 30, 2023, to complete the match.
- The match donor has asked to remain anonymous. The donor values their privacy and was adamant the attention be placed on the students and the good work of McPherson College, not themselves. The McPherson College community will honor this request and not comment on the identity of the donor.
- Both estate gift commitments and outright gifts to endowment qualify for the double-match. Estate gift commitments may be non-binding, revocable commitments that are an estimate of your estate value today. Outright gifts to endowment can be received in many ways—cash, stock, real estate, land, IRA distributions or donor-advised funds. Most donations to endowment are made to a named family scholarship fund or the general endowment fund, which supports college operations.
- Trustee Richard Lundquist and his wife Melanie were authorized by the match donor to speak on their behalf. Melanie spoke at the November 4 news conference about their financial commitment to McPherson College as well as the veracity and importance of the $500 million match. The Lundquists are among the first donors to direct a gift toward the match with an additional $25 million gift, bringing their commitment to MC to $50 million.
- During the “quiet phase” of the double-match challenge, which was prior to the November 2022 public announcement, many other donors stepped forward to participate, either through estate gift commitments or cash donations to endowment. McPherson College leadership and Advancement staff continue contacting alumni, friends, foundations, and businesses so they can be a part of this remarkable giving opportunity. A focused effort has been made to reach all current members of the McPherson College Heritage Roll of Honor. These alumni and friends have notified the college in the past of their intention to leave an estate gift to MC.
- When received, the $500 million endowment match estate gift will provide stability to McPherson College allowing the college and donors to dream together about how its unique brand of education can have an even more significant impact on society and improve the lives of its students.
- The matching funds will support the McPherson College Community by Design 2.0 strategic plan. Transformative initiatives within the plan include: the Student Debt Project; East McPherson, campus master plan; a new Kansas Center for Rural & Community Health; and a new National Center for the Future of Engineering, Design & Mobility.
- It is important to remember that endowed gifts rarely change things overnight. The nature of endowment is to give over time and link past, current, and future generations, allowing McPherson College to make commitments far into the future. Annual gifts to the President’s Club and the college’s day of giving fundraising blitz Power Day, will remain critical in supporting the day-to-day work of MC faculty, staff and students.
Chronicle of Philanthropy, February 14, 2023
USA Today, December 19, 2022
December 17, 2022
December 12, 2022
McPherson College Announces Transformative $500 Million Commitment, Largest Gift to a Small Liberal Arts College in U.S. History
November 4, 2022
Bloomberg, November 3, 2022
September 12, 2022
Inside Higher Ed, August 17, 2022
May 22, 2022
May 12, 2022
May 9, 2022
VP for Advancement
Phone: (620) 242-0435
Email: [email protected]