Whittier College News Release

For Immediate Release - April 7, 2000
Media Contact
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Whittier College Completes $70 Million Capital Campaign

Whittier College's capital campaign, Endowing the Tradition, has exceeded its $70 million goal more than a year ahead of time. Although the campaign books will not be officially closed until June 30, the amount raised as of March 1 was $70,029,634.

Originally conceived as a five-year project, the capital campaign was formally launched on Oct. 11, 1996, with just over $31 million raised in gifts and pledges, nearly 45 percent of the goal. It was scheduled to be concluded in October of 2001.

"I am pleased and fortunate to begin my time here at the completion of such a successful campaign," said Whittier President Katherine Haley Will. "Many people have worked long and hard to provide the college with a solid financial foundation as we begin a new era, and their efforts are greatly appreciated by the entire campus community."

During the campaign, Whittier received the largest gift in its history, $5 million from the Rose Hills Foundation to upgrade and expand the Bonnie Bell Wardman Library. Seismic retrofitting of the building, phase one of the $13 million project, will begin this fall.

Speaking to the Capital Campaign Cabinet during a recent meeting of the college's Board of Trustees, Campaign Chairman Richard H. Deihl cited some significant highlights of the campaign:

"We secured seven endowed chairs at $1.5 million each, and made substantial additions to two others," Deihl said. "We added major endowments in support of Broadoaks, the Shannon Center, the Graham Athletics Center and other programs, as well as endowing the Garrett and Hartley faculty masters' homes.

"We established dozens of endowed scholarship funds for our students, restored Naylor Hall for classroom use as Deihl Hall and created Lautrup-Ball Cinema in Hoover Hall. We are building a new track and field; we created the George Allen Fitness Center, opened Weingart Hall and renovated many other facilities."

In addition to establishing the Richard and Billie Deihl Distinguished Chair, the Deihls provided $100,000 to create the New Millennium Fund, an endowment that will function as a presidential discretionary fund. They have asked all of Whittier's trustees to contribute, and it is hoped that the fund will eventually reach $1 million. Deihl, a 1949 graduate of Whittier college, is the retired chairman and CEO of Home Savings of America and its parent, H.F. Ahmanson and Company.

Endowment must remain the college's highest priority, however, for in spite of the most successful fund-raising campaign in the college's history, the general endowment is not where it should be.

"Although we have made significant strides in increasing our endowment," said Joseph M. Zanetta, vice president for advancement, "we are still below the endowments of peer institutions. Our endowment today is $50 million. When all of the campaign pledges are fulfilled, and with market growth, we should be close to $75 million in three to five years--but we really require an endowment of at least $100 million to remain competitive."

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts. Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa.

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