DePauw University in Greencastle has received $200 million in gifts it says will support its Bold and Gold 2027 strategic plan, the school announced Wednesday.
The funding includes $150 million from an anonymous donor, marking the largest gift ever given to the university, plus $50 million in supporting matches from several unnamed donors.
DePauw said about three-quarters of the funding will go to the university’s endowment, while about $64 million will be allocated to the new Creative School, which launches this fall as part of the Bold and Gold plan.
“Thanks to support at this scale, we can focus on ensuring that our core academic programs and offerings are extraordinary in every way,” DePauw President Lori White said in a news release. “We know that our aspirations for DePauw–to be a new model for a liberal arts college for the 21st century–will require further philanthropic support, and this gift–and those it will inspire–are essential to advancing the accomplishments of our incredible community of students, faculty, staff and alumni in the future.”
The Bold and Gold 2027 strategic plan was initiated in March 2022 and centers on four pillars: academic renewal, exemplary student experience, institutional equity and flourishing university.
As part of the academic renewal pillar, DePauw unveiled a three-school model, which includes the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as the new School of Business and Leadership and the new Creative School.
The Creative School features on a multidisciplinary focus on technology, arts and media. Last June, the university announced Marcus Hayes as the inaugural dean of the Creative School.
DePauw said the $150 million gift surpassed the university’s previous record gift of $128 million that was awarded in 1999.
White said the launch of the strategic plan has ignited the university’s alumni base because they see a “bold vision” for the future of DePauw. “And I think that’s evidenced by the $200 million gift that we announced today.”
The gift comes less than a month after Purdue University received its largest-ever gift in the form of a $100 million in grants from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. White said such large gifts are sending an important message.
“There has been a lot of talk nationally that the public is losing confidence in higher education,” she said. “I think what these gifts do is they reinforce that liberal arts colleges just like DePauw, public universities and other universities that have received significant gifts, we still have the power to transform lives.”