BE Inspired campaign continues raising funds

Stephanie Miller December 8, 2016 0

The Elizabethtown College Board of Trustees (BOT)and the Elizabethtown College Alumni Association (ECAA) have been raising funds in a variety of ways. The money raised from both organizations’ efforts will benefit the entire College community.

The BOT has been raising money through the College’s BE Inspired campaign, which began in April. The goal of the campaign is to raise money to benefit all aspects of the College.

According to the BE Inspired page on the College’s website, the campaign was planned with several goals in mind. One of the campaign’s goals is “Transforming Lives,” the money from which will fund things like student-faculty research and programs like Called to Lead. The “Fulfilling Dreams” goal will benefit things like the Honors Program and the First-Year and Sophomore Year Experience programs.

“We…recognize the importance of our student-faculty relationships through mentoring, research projects, small class sizes and individualized learning,” Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Community Relations David Beidleman said in an email. “As a part of the Transforming Lives priority, we are excited about funding these opportunities as well as expanding internship and global study opportunities.”

At the BOT’s fall meeting in October, over $34 million had been raised for the campaign. Of this total, over $30 million comes from cash and pledged donations. This puts the Board more than halfway to the campaign’s goal of raising $50 million by 2020.

One donation that stood out to Beidleman was a donation of $750,000 from the estate of Miriam O’Donnell, who graduated from Etown in 1940. More than half of that donation will be put toward the BE Inspired campaign.

“We are truly inspired and grateful to Miriam and all of our donors that continue to support the College in remarkable ways,” Beidleman said.

At the October meeting, the Board had received $11 million of the $15 million fundraising goal for the Sports, Fitness & Wellness Center and voted to proceed in designing the building. Since the meeting, the board has raised another $260,000 to put toward building the Center.

The Center will be located on the practice field next to Wolf Field and is predicted to open in the fall of 2018. The building will be constructed once the Board has approved the design.

According to Beidleman, the College is planning to break ground for the building in late 2017.

Another part of the BE Inspired campaign is directed toward the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. So far, over $2 million has been raised to expand the Young Center and its Hess Archive.

According to Beidleman, the Young Center Campaign Committee now plans to raise an additional $1 million endowment, $300,000 of which has already been raised.

This endowment will support a variety of Young Center programs, such as the Young Center Fellows Program, conferences and lecture and research on the Amish and Anabaptist and Pietist groups.

According to Beidleman, the Board’s Campaign Steering Committee met again Wednesday, Dec. 7 “to review next steps that will include the development of regional campaigns, marketing efforts that will include new case statements and a winter magazine that will focus attention on the identified campaign priorities.”

The College also recently participated in the Lancaster County Community Foundation’s Extraordinary Give day. The event took place on Friday, Nov. 18, and the College was one of more than 425 participating local nonprofit organizations.

Extraordinary Give is an annual 24-hour event designed to raise money for non-profit organizations in the Lancaster area. The event’s website describes the Extraordinary Give as “Lancaster County’s largest day of giving” and says that the event is “a powerful day to show support to our local community, and a way to give a little extra to those who need it most.”

The College hosts its own one-day donation event, Power of One day, every spring.

The College participated in the event in an effort to get donations for the Elizabethtown College Fund (ECF). The ECAA is in charge of the fund.

Executive Director of College Engagement Opportunities Mark Clapper said that while the College did not have a donation goal going into the event, the event was specifically advertised to alumni in the Lancaster area.

Together, the nonprofit organizations raised over $7.1 million during the 24-hour period. Fifty-nine donors gave a total of $11,751 to the ECF as part of the Extraordinary Give. This is up from last year, when the College received $9,705 from 39 donors during the event.

“The focus was for the College to be an active partner with the Lancaster County Community Foundation and support the overall efforts,” Clapper said in an email.

According to the Etown alumni website, donations to the ECF “benefit the entire campus community by providing essential resources intended to strengthen programs and initiatives.” Donations are put toward things like residence hall renovations, academic programs and student organizations.

The ECF also serves as extra financial support in case any unexpected challenges arise for the College.

Donations to any of Etown’s fundraising projects can be made by mail, on the College’s website or in person on the third floor of Alpha Hall.

Information about the BE Inspired campaign can be found at Online donations to the ECF can be made at

“Any gift given to the College during the campaign will count toward our goals,” Beidleman said regarding the BE Inspired campaign.

“Together, these things will truly transform the look of Elizabethtown College.”


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