Manchester University exceeds $100 million target

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Manchester University has exceeded a $100 million fundraising goal 18 months ahead of its deadline, and retiring President Jo Young Switzer is receiving much of the credit.

By Thursday, thousands of donations had brought the total to $108.4 million in the "Students First!" campaign launched in 2007, the largest in the northeastern Indiana's school's history.

"While this might not be a huge achievement for a college like Notre Dame or Purdue - compared to them, we are small - it was a testament to donors' dedication and belief in our mission and vision," Tim McElwee, vice president for university advancement, told The Journal Gazette.
Switzer was the stimulus who brought in so many donations, McElwee said.

"The alumni I talked to said that Jo Switzer was a leader who got things done, and they knew it would be agonizing for (Switzer) not to have this huge thing done when she retired," he said.

Switzer's last day as president of the nearly 1,400-student university, about 35 miles west of Fort Wayne, is Monday.

About $10 million arrived in the past month, much of it given to celebrate the leadership of Switzer, who has been the university's president for nearly 10 years.

The campaign included a $35 million gift from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment that created Manchester's School of Pharmacy in Fort Wayne, which opened two years ago.

It also included the largest alumni gift in school history, $5.1 million earlier this year from 94-year-old Herb Chinworth for a new administration building to be built over the next five years and named after Chinworth's parents, Lockie and Augustus Chinworth of Warsaw.

"It was a tremendous gift - a gift that allowed me to breathe again," Switzer said.

A recently built Academic Center was named in honor of former university Trustee Mike Jarvis of Franklin, a 1968 graduate, and his wife, Sandy, after they gave $5 million to the campaign.

Switzer said the campaign's success will have a ripple effect in northeastern Indiana

"The School of Pharmacy has had a huge economic impact on Fort Wayne and visibility in the region," she said.

The school created 40 to 45 well-paid jobs and is creating opportunities in Fort Wayne as students work in pharmacy- and medical-related businesses there, she said.


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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.