College of Liberal Arts inspired by donor generosity

A desire to advance the human experience lies at the heart of the College of Liberal Arts’ mission. Whether it’s pursued through the humanities, social sciences, or the visual and performing arts, students and faculty share a commitment to the well-being of the human community, to the natural environment in which we live, and to the inspiration of the human spirit.

That commitment and inspiration also lies at the heart of why donors supported the college in record numbers – more than 10,000 alumni, faculty and staff, and friends – during the State Your Purpose Campaign for Colorado State University.

“We were delighted to see what inspired our friends and alumni to give,” says Ben Withers, dean of the college. “People engaged and invested across all areas of our mission, and we are grateful.”

Citing outstanding success with scholarship support and more than $16 million in faculty and staff giving, Withers is confident that the college stands ready to: prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century through purposeful learning; support researchers who study the social, historical, environmental, and cultural context of our world; and engage with and serve our communities in a meaningful, practical, and relevant way.

The college opened the campaign with a gift to expand and name the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art and concluded with the largest single gift in college history: the recent $5 million gift from CSU System Chancellor Emeritus Joe Blake.

“These bookend gifts show the transformational impact that our donors can have on the college and the campus simultaneously,” says Withers. “And they give us confidence that we will continue to build on that visibility to prepare for future initiatives, such as the new Clark Complex.”

Liberal Arts champions

The State Your Purpose campaign was a historic success for the College of Liberal Arts. It received its largest-ever gift, $5 million from former Colorado State University System Chancellor Joe Blake.

Also historic were campaign gifts from 940 current, retired/emeritus, and previous employees, which accounted for $16 million of the $40 million that CLA raised. Just over 300 emeritus faculty and retirees contributed to CLA during the campaign. read more

Extending the impact

That transformational impact extends outward from the college to the many communities it serves. “Our country and our world face challenges whose answers will not be found without an understanding of the human, lived experience,” Withers asserts. “Much of the giving during this campaign recognizes this and supports programs such as the Middle School Outreach Ensemble, Public Lands History Center, and the Straayer Center that connect our world-class teaching, research, and service directly to the community, from grade-school children, to general citizens, to state and municipal government.”

Creating ‘something more’

Looking back on the impact campaign donors have had on the college, Withers is inspired by the overwhelming commitment to students and shared belief in the value of a liberal arts education. “That commitment,” he says, “is central for the future of our democratic society. From music therapy to history to anthropology – the topics we study and the knowledge and artistry we produce have a relevant and practical impact.”

“Your vision and imagination,” Withers says, speaking directly to supporters, “inspires students and faculty to develop wisdom, to learn, grow, and change, to create something more, something of enduring value that challenges and advances the human experience in all its forms. Thank you for your commitment to the college, to the faculty and students, and to the liberal arts.”