News

Unity College donor challenge: Match my gift

Gift of $200,000 designed to inspire more pledges promoting America’s Environmental College

Unity College, celebrating its 50th year with another large entering class, recently received a significant pledge from a person long familiar with Unity College.  At the donor’s request, the gift will provide $200,000 in matchable funds to support a comprehensive marketing study.

Inspired by Unity College’s leadership in preparing environmental problem-solvers, the anonymous donor wanted to ensure that the college aligns its curriculum with emerging careers in “green” fields and appeals to students on a national scale.  The donor wanted to use the match opportunity as a way to get more people involved in giving to Unity College.

“This anonymous, unsolicited gift from someone who’s been watching the college for a while gives us great confidence we’re heading in the right direction educating the next generation of environmental leaders as America’s Environmental College,” Unity College President Dr. Stephen Mulkey said. “It’s a gift we intend to use in such a way that it keeps on giving.”

Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, said that this gift provides Unity College with an opportunity to “Change the game–not just for Unity College, but for the entire field of environmental higher education.” Khoury added that he is in the process of choosing a national firm to partner with Unity College in this multi-year campaign.

Khoury has high praise for Unity College leadership. “This pledge and challenge demonstrates that the Unity College Board of Trustees and college supporters get it–they understand the importance of an integrated approach to market, curriculum, and the entire educational experience.”   Khoury added that this gift will fund a multi-year initiative designed to ensure that the college will deliver a high value degree while extending the brand of Unity College nationally.

At a time when not-for-profit private colleges are seen as vulnerable in the world of higher education, Khoury noted Unity has experienced two years of record enrollment, while adding 44,000 square feet of new research, recreation and residence hall space.

Director of Development and Alumni Relations Julie Briggs Cunningham said the gift was one of the top five the school has ever received.  Unity College received a $10 million unrestricted gift for its endowment in 2011, the largest gift ever, and in the last 2 years has collected a gift of Half Moon Gardens and McKay Agricultural Station, valued at $1.2 million; and a $200,000 anonymous donation last year.

“What’s striking about these gifts is they are largely coming unsolicited from donors who are very familiar with our history and our work, and believe in our mission” Cunningham said. “ Alumni and friends alike obviously like what they see or they wouldn’t be investing.”

The donor challenged like-minded friends of the college to match or exceed the gift. “We will look to raise a minimum of $200,000 additional for the initiative so that we can accomplish the project goals without taxing tuition dollars—this is what’s so exciting about this gift.  This is why we are calling the project ‘Project Connect’.”

“Your match to this bold gift will allow Unity College to build the beacon of hope that comes with teaching sustainability science to future environmental leaders in this, the Environmental Century,” Mulkey, the college president, said.

If you accept the challenge and would like to make a gift to the college that supports this new initiative, please visit https://unity.edu/connect.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the gift or the challenge, please contact Dr. Melik Peter Khoury at 207-509-7144.

Monday, August 17, 2015