LA campaign aims to raise $20 million in 3 years

by Myles Badger / Beacon Correspondent • January 30, 2014

At least 19 people have made donations of $10,000 or more to the Los Angeles Center fundraising campaign, a three-year effort to secure $20 million for the college, said Patrick Smith, director of development and alumni relations. Smith declined to comment on the amount the effort has raised so far, but said there has been one gift of $1 million and another of $250,000.

On July 27 Kevin Bright, founding director of the LA Center, hosted the official launch of the campaign, dubbed “The Future Has Your Name On It!” According to Smith, over 500 parents, students, and alumni attended. The campaign is expected to be complete in July 2016, and is currently on track, said Smith.

“Our work is all inclusive,” he said. “The LA campaign itself is structured to support programs at the LA center, as well as raising money to offset the costs of running the LA campus and the costs of construction costs.”

Freshman visual and media arts major Jacob Caron said he is glad the college wants to put money in the LA program.

“It’s great they’re doing a fundraiser for such an important program,” he said. “When we have something like the LA Center that helps students further their goals so much, I’d be upset if we weren’t doing anything to support it.”

Donors who contribute more than $10,000 can have a part of the LA campus named after them, starting with being the namesake of a dorm room, all the way up to the educational center building itself for $15 million. Smith said 19 named spaces have already been assigned to parts of the building.

According to Jeffrey Schoenherr, vice president for development and alumni relations, 21 alumni relations professionals specializing in managing the college’s relationships with its donors are currently working in Boston on the campaign, and Smith moved to LA in July to oversee the campaign from the West Coast. Smith and Schoenherr said that campaign is designed to capitalize on the new LA campus to create a greater culture of philanthropy at the college. 

“We’re getting out and asking our donors to step up and support the college in a monetary way that has a significant impact,” said Smith. “We have an extremely dedicated alumni base when it comes to networking. We now want to move that into a quantifiable experience where our alumni, with their passion, can be matched with a passion of giving that can help our students.”

Schoenherr said the fundraising effort will benefit other initiatives at the college, not just the LA program.  

“While we’re raising money for the campaign,” said Schoenherr, “we’re talking to donors about financial aid for students, and we’re talking to donors about providing money to students for unpaid internships.”  

Both of these initiatives are for students in the LA program, said Schoenherr.

Megan Tripp, a senior writing, literature, and publishing major, said that while she never felt the LA program was inclusive of students in her discipline, she’s glad financial support for students is part of the fundraising efforts.  

“I like the idea of scholarships,” she said. “It’s an added benefit, students need money constantly.”