Catawba College announces $200 million donation

Largest gift in school history
The gift is from an anonymous donor.
The gift is from an anonymous donor.(WBTV File)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 1:45 PM EDT
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Catawba College has received $200 million for its endowment. Given by an anonymous donor, the gift is the largest in the college’s 170-year history.

“This extraordinary gift is an affirmation of the quality of education at Catawba College and reflects the donor’s ambition for Catawba to flourish for generations to come,” said David P. Nelson, Catawba’s president.

Consistently ranked as a top ten Regional College in the South by U.S. News and World Report and recognized as a leader in undergraduate learning and research, Catawba College enrolls over 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Financial aid is provided to 100% of on-campus undergraduate students, demonstrating Catawba’s commitment to promoting access and social mobility.

“Students at Catawba benefit from the personal attention they receive from faculty and staff. They have rich opportunities for personal formation and exploration of vocation,” said Constance Rogers-Lowery, Catawba’s provost. “This gift advances our college’s position as a destination for exceptional and visionary faculty who value this kind of learning community.”

One-third of the gift will provide recurring funding to support and enhance Catawba’s well-established programs in environment and sustainability as a nationally recognized center of distinction in undergraduate education. Two-thirds of the gift is dedicated to supporting strategic initiatives, strengthening student scholarships, enhancing student success programming, promoting a thriving workplace, and investing in faculty excellence.

“This is cause for celebration for our entire community,” Catawba’s vice president of development, Meg Dees, said. “The donor hopes this gift will inspire and catalyze additional philanthropic contributions that support Catawba’s high-impact programs and initiatives.”

“It is impossible to adequately express our gratitude,” added Nelson. “Our donor’s generosity funds our imagination, enabling us to provide a liberal arts education that frees students to create the world where we all want to live.”

Earlier this year, Catawba received gifts totaling $18M to retire the entirety of the college’s debt. Catawba’s endowment per student is one of the highest among private colleges and universities in the South, with the total endowment now exceeding $300 million.

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