Hall Family Foundation Pledges to Support Academic Excellence
and Collaborative Learning
The Hall Family Foundation has made a major pledge of $6,510,000 to support achievement of the goals of William Jewell College’s Strategic Plan. This is the largest single pledge commitment to the college in well over a decade and will provide the lead gift for the college’s library renovation, as well as support for William Jewell’s nationally acclaimed Oxbridge Honors Program and funds for innovative collaborative learning initiatives.
“We are pleased to provide this support and applaud Jewell’s plans to build on its outstanding academic reputation by attracting the best faculty and students to the college,” said Hall Family Foundation Vice President Tracy Foster.
The pledge includes $6 million that will serve as support to complete a total renovation of the Charles F. Curry Library; $250,000 for a Collaborative Learning Fund; $200,000 for scholarships to Jewell’s Oxbridge Honors Program; and $60,000 for a visiting scholars program.
“We have long appreciated Jewell’s emphasis on rigorous educational experiences. This support should help the college as it develops its focus on a collaborative and experiential liberal arts education,” said Foster. William Jewell College president David Sallee said he appreciates the Hall Family Foundation’s belief that the Kansas City region benefits from having a nationally recognized liberal arts college. “The Foundation’s support is crucial as we build an outstanding student experience in this region.”
The Hall Family Foundation’s pledge supports the William Jewell College Strategic Plan, which was approved by the College’s Board of Trustees in October. The plan is focused on providing students with the resources and experiences found at the nation’s very best liberal arts colleges. Goals of the plan include:
- Major investments in the college’s academic infrastructure and an aggressive move toward membership in Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most selective and prestigious national academic honorary;
- ability to provide scholarship support to keep Jewell accessible for all deserving applicants;
- Broadening internship, study abroad, and other experiential learning opportunities that unfold in concert with a rigorous core curriculum;
- Opening national recruitment markets to create a more dynamic and diverse student body.
The largest portion of the Hall Family Foundation’s pledge will support critical improvements to the college’s Curry Library, which was completed in 1965. This $13 million project will place the library at the center of the college’s intellectual life and provide all that is required to support a vibrant learning community in the twenty-first century.
“The past several years have brought revolutionary changes in library services, rapid evolution of computerized information processing, and shifts in how students learn,” said Dr. Chad Jolly, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at William Jewell. “We envision our library as the heart of intellectual life on campus, a center of vital technology, and a collaborative learning space where students and faculty will engage one another and the issues of the day.”
President Sallee added: “The library of the future is certainly more than a repository for books; it is a vibrant space—the intellectual engine for a community of scholars who process and access information differently than previous student generations. This new facility will become a ‘marketplace of ideas,’ and live as a visible symbol of the intellectual vitality that one typically finds at the nation’s top liberal arts institutions.”
The Foundation has also pledged $250,000 to establish a Fund for Collaborative Learning. This gift will support projects focused on student research and honors projects, emphasizing collaborative faculty and student engagement that takes learning well beyond the traditional classroom setting.
An additional $200,000 of the Foundation’s pledge will support scholarships dedicated to students in the college’s innovative Oxbridge Honors Program, which was established with a gift from the Foundation in 1983. Students enrolled in the Oxbridge Honors Program explore their majors through individual tutorials as employed in the traditional British higher education model and study in either Oxford or Cambridge universities during their junior year abroad.
The final component of the Foundation’s pledge consists of a $60,000 gift to sustain a visiting scholars program. The Hall Family Visiting Professorship was established in 2003 to attract visiting scholars who make significant contributions in the humanities, visual and performing arts, social and behavioral sciences, or physical and life sciences.
The Hall Family Foundation will fulfill the library pledge when other supporters pledge $6 million in support of faculty endowments at Jewell, and the college raises the remaining $7.1 million required to move forward with the library project.
“As we move toward a comprehensive campaign that will allow Jewell to fulfill the mandates of its strategic plan, the Hall Family Foundation has given us a tremendous vote of confidence and inspiration for others to join us as we create the very best experience for our students,” Dr. Jolly said.
“We appreciate all that the Hall Family Foundation does for our great city, and we are especially grateful to receive this significant expression of support for extending educational excellence,” said President Sallee.