“Before Every Carl for Carleton, there was ‘every trustee for Carleton,’” notes Tommy Bonner, Carleton’s vice president for external relations. Bonner knows that a successful campaign starts with a passionate endorsement by the college’s most visible advocates: the Board of Trustees. “Our board members are Carleton’s guiding lights and trusted advisers. We couldn’t embark on a historic campaign without them on record as 100 percent committed.”
That 100 percent commitment isn’t just a figure of speech. Early in the campaign planning, board chair Wally Weitz ’70, and campaign chair Cathy James Paglia ’74 issued an all-in challenge to the trustees: If every sitting trustee made a campaign gift before Carleton’s Sesquicentennial in fall 2016, reaching a collective total of $60 million or more, their support would unlock an additional $40 million in matching funds —for a combined total of $100 million from current trustees.
Every trustee answered the call, together raising $64,850,000 in a single year. Their extraordinary generosity was promptly multiplied as their success triggered two matching gifts:
- The 1866 Scholarship Match—$20 million in matching fund from Barbara ’70 and Wally ’70 Weitz and family to encourage major donations to financial aid. Thanks to a groundswell of support from donors ranging from the Class of 1938 to 2001, the match met its goal in just 18 months.
- The Science Match—a matching gift of $20 million from the Robert & Ardis James Foundation toward the construction of a new science complex.
“I was humbled and proud to see our board’s belief in Carleton and our campaign,” says Cathy James Paglia. “We knew that we would be asking every Carl to help us achieve this goal, so it would be critical for the board to support our campaign with enthusiasm and conviction. Our board members met that challenge with extraordinary generosity.”