What do you do with a $25 million gift? Match it, of course. At least
that's what one private college in Pinellas County just did.
only four years, Eckerd
has successfully fulfilled the $25 million Collier Challenge
In May 2006, Miles Collier, board of trustees chairman for Eckerd
College and managing partner of Naples-based Collier Enterprises, and
his wife, Parker, gave $25 million to Eckerd College. This was
the largest gift in the history of Eckerd College, a nationally
private liberal arts college in Florida. A member of Eckerd College's
Board of Trustees since 1988, Collier served as chairman from 1992-1995,
and regained his role as chairman in July 2000 and has been serving
The Collier Challenge matched all gifts and pledges
of $25,000 or more to the priorities of "Many Experiences, One Spirit:
The Campaign for Eckerd College," which includes the sciences, the arts,
student life and the College's endowment. Since the campaign's launch
more than $73 million has been raised and Eckerd is on track to reach
its total goal of $80 million this year.
"With more than a
year left in the Campaign, we are well-positioned to fulfill our
campaign goal, and the generosity and foresight of the Colliers was an
immensely important motivator," says Donald R. Eastman III, president at
One of the campaign priorities is the $30
for Molecular and Life Sciences
building. The 51,000-square-feet
building will house teaching and research laboratories. Groundbreaking
is tentatively scheduled for May 2011, with a completion
date of August 2014.
Helmar Nielsen, Eckerd trustee, pledged a
generous $500,000 to establish The
Lloyd W. Chapin Faculty Development Program
. After 31 years as
Eckerd's dean of faculty and vice president for Academic Affairs, Chapin
is retiring on June 30.
Nielsen's pledge was doubled by the Collier Challenge to $1
The Collier Challenge has proved
to be successful as the number of $25,000 commitments by alumni and
parents doubled in less than four years, and participation from Eckerd
faculty and staff set records with 97 percent of
faculty and 76 percent of staff making commitments.
Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Donald R. Eastman III, Eckerd College