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A record-setting $75.5 million donation stands to change the trajectory of Gordon College by boosting scholarship funds to make the school more affordable and expanding opportunities for non-traditional students.
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The anonymous gift—the largest in the school’s history and among the largest ever given to a Christian college—is an answered prayer. And it comes just at the right time. Higher education faces looming questions about its future, and Gordon began to implement major academic changes around a realigned budget last spring.
The recent donation “was as a sign of God’s redemptive love for Christian education in the context of great challenges and opposition,” said Gordon president (and CT board member) D. Michael Lindsay. Lindsay spent four years asking God to bring a “transformational donor” to the evangelical liberal arts college. This summer, it finally happened.
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Lindsay shared the news with the student body Friday at the Boston-area college’s homecoming and 130th anniversary celebration. The gift, which is designated for Gordon’s endowment, puts the school more than halfway to a campaign goal of raising $130 million over the next couple years. Right away, students enrolling in 2020 will receive an additional 15 percent in financial aid.
Donations this big tend to go to Ivy League schools and state research universities. According to data compiled by the Almanac of Higher Education, only a handful of evangelical colleges—including Regent University, Liberty University, Oral Roberts University, and Westmont College—have ever received gifts over $70 million.
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“The number one reason why donors make big gifts, like extraordinary gifts, to a Christian college is that they believe a faith-infused education is the hope of the world,” said Shirley Hoogstra, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
Gordon officials told CT that the anonymous donor was particularly interested in helping address affordability, which...
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