The College of Management (CoM) received a commitment of $25 million from an anonymous source. The college will store $20 million in an endowment fund called the One-To-One Challenge Grant, which aims to increase charitable commitments and donations to the college. The remaining amount is to be allocated at the discretion of Steve Salbu, Dean of the CoM.
“The gift was inspired by the anonymous donor’s desire to support the College of Management’s ambitious goals. The donor understands the highly competitive arms-race among top business schools, and the need for us to have the resources necessary to achieve our vision and our goals,” Salbu said. “The timing of the commitment was triggered in part by the realization of the anonymous donor that as revenues were under pressure at other top business schools, coupled with declining values of endowments and philanthropy, the commitment would place Georgia Tech in a competitive advantage.”
The donated funds will provide the CoM with an opportunity to enhance the student’s advising program by further hiring of undergraduate and graduate counseling and career services. Other goals of the CoM include the expansion of the graduate program by attracting more Ph.D. students.
“Longer term, through the Challenge, we expect to endow dozens of student scholarships and fellowships, 15 new faculty chairs and professorships and select programs,” Salbu said.
CoM officials and the donor began meeting months ago to discuss a potential donation. These talks culminated with a commitment on Oct. 30 and then officially signed on campus on Nov. 5. The anonymous donor will match dollar for dollar any gift or commitment coming in until June 2012 by third party donors. He or she will then have a span of five years to distribute the payment.
“We anticipate the first payment as early as Dec. 2009, which will include both the Dean’s Discretionary Fund and the Challenge Grant [distributions] and annually thereafter,” said Barrett Carson, Vice President for Development.
Gifts by other donors will go into separate funds, and the $5 million will go into another endowment fund under the jurisdiction of Salbu. Should challenge donations fall short of the projected $20 million mark, any remaining funds from the anonymous donor will stay in an unrestricted endowment fund to academically support the CoM.
“Imagine a series of buckets, if you will. The first bucket will serve to receive the [$5 million],” Carson said. “The triggering challenge donors’ monies will be in a series of individually named endowment funds held separately from the anonymous donor’s endowment.”
The Georgia Tech Foundation, Inc. will receive the endowment funds and will only disburse funds, in accordance with current policy.
“I’m highly optimistic that we will achieve the full challenge goal by mid-2012, which is our timeframe. Alumni and friends of the College of Management are fiercely loyal,” Salbu said. “The successful challenge that was implemented under Terry Blum’s deanship allowed us to build our beautiful business school facility entirely on private donations.”
The challenge fund was developed in reference to the CoM’s last commitment campaign in Dec. 2000, which raised over $45 million through gifts and commitments towards the construction of the current CoM building at Tech Square.
“The economy at the time was also not ideal, but the challenge inspired numerous donors to step forward, and today their names throughout the facility stand as testimony to their generosity,” Carson said.