Knox College received more than $13.2 million from donors during the 2017-18 fiscal year, including more than $1 million for financial aid and scholarships raised between May 1 and June 30, 2018 through The Campaign for Our Knox. From July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, more than 7,000 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends made gifts to the College.
Those gifts included $3.8 million to the Knox Fund—annual operating dollars that help cover College expenses that student tuition doesn't. The K Club, the official booster club of Knox College Athletics, also had a banner year, raising half a million dollars to support Prairie Fire student-athletes and the athletics program, including new weights, racks and bumpers in the Cecil-Porter Free Weight area, synthetic turf and fencing at Jorge Prats Field, and Prairie Fire graphics in T. Fleming Fieldhouse.
"I was thrilled by the support and enthusiasm our alumni and parents showed during The Campaign for Our Knox," said Knox College President Teresa Amott. "In addition to making their own gifts, so many of them reached out to their friends and classmates and encouraged them to give, too." Approximately 98 percent of Knox students receive some form of financial assistance. "Keeping a high-caliber liberal arts education within the reach of any bright, promising student has always been Knox's mission—and our donors make it possible."
In addition to gifts to the Knox Fund and K Club, donors contributed:
- $3.7 million for enhancements to the physical campus, including gifts toward phase one of renovations of the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center, as well as renovations for the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Jorge Prats Field, and the Second Baptist Church located next to the Old Jail; an art gallery in the Ford Center for the Fine Arts; and a newly laid patio at Post Hall.
- $2 million to the endowment to support endowed scholarships and student experiences, and;
- $3.7 million in realized estate gifts in support of scholarships and College operations.
The majority of all of these gifts support the Above & Beyond: Initiatives for Knox, a series of fundraising projects and priorities that make possible the goals of the College's strategic plan, Knox 2018. Since 2012, the Above & Beyond initiatives have received gifts totaling $12.6 million for Alumni Hall; $8.4 million for the Whitcomb Art Center, which opened for classes in January 2017; $6.4 million to support the first phase of renovations to the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center, and $57 million in support of faculty and students and other campus facilities. In total, Above & Beyond has raised more than $84 million to date.
"We've talked the last several years about it being a ‘transformative moment' at Knox," said Beverly Holmes, vice president for advancement, "You can really see that transformation taking place across campus—new construction; new academic options for students, like the introduction of the bachelor of science degree; and expanded opportunities for students through initiatives like the Power of Experience Grant."
In recent years, private gift support has surpassed endowment income to become Knox's second largest source of income after tuition. As of March 31, 2018, Knox's endowment stood at $158 million, an increase of $18 million from the previous year.
"Our alumni are the people who best understand the work we do here, and they have high expectations for us as an institution," said President Amott. "I'm extremely grateful that they continue to show their belief in our mission through their generous financial support."