Purple & Bold: Albion College Embarks on a ‘Once-in-a-Generation’ Campaign

The $100 million goal will forge an exemplary future for the College, creating an Albion liberal arts experience that is more vital and more capable than ever before.

October 4, 2019

“Albion College helps engender big dreams in a small, welcoming town,” said President Mauri Ditzler as Purple & Bold launched publicly. “This campaign speaks to everyone who has been a part of this College over the years as well as to those students who will make it a part of their lives in the future.”

It is ambitious. It is intrepid. It is challenging. And it is the next step in Albion College’s goal of creating a liberal arts experience for students to change the world.

The College is embarking on perhaps the most far-reaching comprehensive campaign in its 185-year history, and by the time it ends Albion will be remade in ways both large and small.

“It’s a once-in-a-generation type of thing and it will change the whole institution,” said Bob Anderson, vice president for alumni relations and advancement. “Our goal is to do this campaign more efficiently and effectively than most colleges, and the success of the campaign will determine the success of the College for the next 10 years.”

The campaign — Purple & Bold — was previewed September 28 before more than 300 alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends at Albion College’s 10th annual Grand Getaway at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

“Our alumni appreciate the difference Albion College has made in their lives,” Anderson said. “They know it’s a place that has a history and a future that enables dreams to come true.”

The $100 million fundraising goal over the next 18 to 24 months will focus on five specific priorities that will provide the opportunity for Albion students and the College as a whole to grow, thrive and evolve.

  • Student support and, more specifically, financial aid, ensuring deserving students have access to an Albion education.
  • The need to support faculty excellence and engaged learning, creating immersive research opportunities and strengthening programs that enhance the on-campus experience.
  • Addressing the very landscape of the learning environment, both on and off campus. This includes recently completed capital projects such as Admission’s expanded Bonta Welcome Center and the downtown Ludington Center; current projects such as the Dow Center expansion, fueled by a gift from Joe, ‘82, and Julie Serra; and future construction, including the Richard and Marilyn Vitek Center for Musical Arts.
  • Support for the Albion College Fund, which benefits all areas of the College and its students, from financial aid to classroom equipment to student activities.
  • Investing in and supporting the Albion community to create new opportunities for cooperative outreach and enrichment, and to help strengthen the ties between the College and community of Albion.

“Albion College is a place that inspires young minds to set their sights on the boldest dreams they can imagine,” said Donald Sheets, ’82, chair of the Albion College Board of Trustees.

Sheets and his wife, Angela Scott Sheets, ’82, saw that vision in September 2014 when, upon the inauguration of new President Mauri Ditzler, they announced a $1 million gift, the first of more than 37,000 Purple & Bold gifts from 8,500-plus donors who have seen the need, and the potential, of Albion College.

“We wanted to signal to everyone our confidence in the bright future of Albion,” Sheets said.

The $100 million goal may be ambitious, but thanks to a record-setting 2018-19 fiscal year that saw Albion raise more than $34 million, the goal is well within reach. President Ditzler announced at the Grand Getaway event that the College has raised $86.2 million as of September 30. As well, in the past year, Albion College has received three of the largest gifts in its history, one of which has established the landmark Lisa and James Wilson Institute for Medicine.

“The Purple & Bold campaign presents an opportunity for alumni and friends to participate in ways that are most meaningful to them,” said Wendy Miller Bueche, Albion’s chief advancement officer – campaign. “In this campaign, all gifts have impact and support student success. Every dollar counts.”

And for President Ditzler, this campaign is yet another step in helping Albion College prepare students to compete in a constantly changing world.

“Albion College helps engender big dreams in a small, welcoming town,” Ditzler said. “Together the College and community have been building a partnership that is gaining momentum and will strengthen our shared future. This campaign speaks to everyone who has been a part of this College over the years as well as to those students who will make it a part of their lives in the future.”

To learn more about the Purple & Bold campaign, visit albion.edu/bold