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$5 million collected for building

January 21, 2011

Since 2006 plans have been in the works to build a new $38 million science and business building, and with donations currently totaling $5 million the building is becoming more of a reality. In February, the Board of Trustees will meet to approve the start date for construction. If approved, construction could start as early as this spring or summer, but more fundraising may be necessary to convince the board.

The Office of Development and College Relations has been hard at work raising money in a multitude of ways, including encouraging alumni with science and business backgrounds to donate money towards specific rooms such as laboratories or classrooms. “People are excited to see their name on a building that will have such a significant impact on the college” says Molly Ball, Vice President for Development and College Relations. Ball continues to fundraise, attempting to raise the large amount of money necessary to build the facility, but she is confident that they will have little trouble raising the money. “There are a lot of exciting things happening right now” she says, “People know that this is a high priority and a turning point for the college. This will help us recruit and train individuals from not just the Midwest, but all over.”

And the donations suggest she’s right. To date, $5 million have been donated or promised from hundreds of donors. Gifts ranged from $100 to the six figure donations made by four members of the college board of trustees: Vice Chairman William Trubeck ’68 of Long Lake, Minn.; former chairman Safford Peacock of Lincoln; and trustees Robert Dahl of Washington, D.C., and Jack Schultz of Effingham.

“When I was a student at Monmouth, the college was nationally known for its success in the sciences. This new complex will allow those departments to again rise to that prominence, while at the same time enhancing Monmouth’s outstanding business programs.”

And it promises to do just that. In 2007 it was decided that only one building would be built instead of one science and one business building as part of Monmouth College’s integrated studies. Trubeck added, “There are so many ‘food and fuel’ issues that are going on in the country that have their roots right here in western Illinois. This complex will allow Monmouth College to be on the leading edge of all that.” Right now, it’s all just a matter of getting the money to build the facility.

“You get it $100,000 at a time” says President Mauri Ditzler. The fundraising will take time, as many donations are over a period of time, such as $100,000 a year, or depend on when a company is sold. “People hear $40 million and no one thinks you can do it. But you just keep raising the money and then one day you’re there.” Ditzler added.

Monetary donations will pay for the entire science and business facility, but tuition will still go up as a result. A new facility will mean more faculty and more cleaning staff, not to mention the money necessary for the increased air conditioning bill and repairs.

Despite that, the new facility promises to be an incredible asset to Monmouth College and the students, and should be well worth the wait. Fundraising will continue for the new building in hopes of breaking ground as soon as possible, but the current donations are promising.

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