New $2.25 Million Gift From Michael and Judy Harrington, ’85 ’86, Focuses on Campus Innovation, Belonging Initiatives
The couple’s continued investment will help transform College relationships, institutions and the surrounding community.
July 13, 2021
Albion College, one of the top 50 innovative liberal arts colleges in the country, announced today a $2.25 million gift from Michael and Judy Harrington, ’85 ’86, that will support several major initiatives. Albion College President Dr. Mathew Johnson made the announcement.
The Harringtons’ investment will act as a catalyst for growth, innovation and action to further the College’s commitment to belonging while meeting the needs of the local community. The $2.25 million gift will support several programs and initiatives, including the Body and Soul Center, the Harrington Neighborhood Incentive Program, the School for Public Purpose and Professional Advancement and the Office of Belonging. The gift will also benefit the new Albion College Family and Supporters Council and provide for technology improvements.
“Albion prepares students to become leaders and changemakers by rooting our model of education in three core pillars: purpose, belonging and action,” said Michael Harrington, who serves as the Albion College Board of Trustees chair. “By holistically supporting Albion’s bold new initiatives that reflect these values, we hope this investment will transform the Albion of today and pave the way for decades of innovation to come.”
The largest portion of the gift will serve as the initial major investment in the recently announced Body and Soul Center project, a reimagining and transformation of the former Washington Gardner School into a new hub of creativity and wellness for the College and the local community. “We know how meaningful the Washington Gardner School is to generations of Albion community members and are so pleased to work with the College and community leaders to create something very special,” said Judy Harrington.
The Harringtons will also make a second contribution to the Harrington Neighborhood Incentive Program, established by them in 2016. The new investment will strengthen the program and expand access for College faculty and staff who seek to make Albion their home, continuing the revitalization of local Albion neighborhoods and enhancing economic development.
“As Albion expands and as new employees are hired, we are in need of transitional housing for young professionals and to continue to incentivize those professionals to buy, build or renovate their new home in the neighborhood,” said Johnson. ”This allows staff and faculty to invest in the local Albion community and build their home in the City, creating a deeper sense of community and belonging for faculty, staff and our 1,500 students who live and learn on campus.”
A portion of the gift will go towards the School for Public Purpose and Professional Advancement, the home of Albion’s innovative new approach to experiential and professional education where current and future institutes and centers bring the liberal arts to life.
This investment will also support training needs and build capacity within the Office of Belonging over the next three years. Established in the fall of 2020, the Office of Belonging leads institutional accountability for diversity, equity and inclusion on campus, including the Blueprint for Belonging, which requires every unit within the College to articulate its public commitment to belonging.
The Albion College Family and Supporters Council, announced in the spring, will serve as a network of informed parents and family members who seek to foster student success and create bonds to increase opportunities for all students.
“The Harrington gift is an example of an investment that provides returns on so many levels,” said Marc Newman, vice president for institutional advancement at Albion College. “It creates immediate campus and community impact while serving as a catalyst for additional opportunities in areas that include alumni giving and retention, community development, health and wellness, and housing, providing the narrative for additional investments.”
About Albion College
Albion College is a private liberal arts college of approximately 1,500 students and is nationally recognized for its academic excellence in the liberal arts tradition, a learning-centered commitment and a future-oriented perspective. The College is a leader in preparing students to anticipate, solve and prevent problems in order to improve the human and global condition. Albion immerses students in the creation and processing of knowledge and graduates skilled architects of societal change, active citizens and future leaders. The College is dedicated to the highest quality in undergraduate education and is committed to diversity as a core institutional value.
Albion, Michigan, is a culturally diverse community in the south-central part of the state. The College recognizes the value of community, both on- and off-campus and has invested resources in supporting the revitalization of the greater Albion community. This work offers an increasingly vibrant city around the campus that provides students with a fuller experience as they prepare to become engaged citizens in their own communities. For more information, visit albion.edu.