Converse College has announced the results of the most successful capital campaign in the history of the college. The Campaign for Converse: Building for the Future, a five-year effort with a goal of $75 million, raised $82.5 million in private gifts for college academic programs, facilities, and endowment. The campaign officially concluded on June 30, surpassing its original goal by $7.5 million.
Converse alumnae led the way in contributing to the campaign, as more than 5,300 (56% of the total alumnae base) participated. Active participation came from donors who reside in 49 U.S. states and two foreign countries. With a median gift of $50, the campaign success is testament to alumnae and friends that every gift does make a difference.
The campaign officially began in September of 1998 with The Johnson Challenge, initiated by George Dean and Susu Phifer Johnson ’65, which generated more than $45 million in gifts and pledges in only nine months. The public phase of the campaign was announced on April 19, 2001 during the college’s annual Founder’s Day celebration.
“When this capital campaign was conceived, Converse was searching for new leadership,” said Bill Barnet, campaign chairman. “At the time, no one could comprehend the unique commitment that would come from so many members of the broad Converse community to insure the long-term health and vitality of this institution. That commitment is what has made the Converse effort such an amazing success.”
Key accomplishments of the campaign include:
• Construction of the 36 thousand square foot Phifer Science Hall, scheduled to open in fall 2004;
• Construction of The Sally Abney Rose Physical Activity Complex and Weisiger Center, which helped Converse to acquire NCAA Division II status in 2001;
• Construction of the fourteen thousand square foot Justine V.R. “Nita” Milliken Addition of Milliken Fine Arts Building;
• Renovation and conversion of Belk Residence Hall into apartment-style suites;
• Construction of a road to connect the front circle of campus with the Southwest corridor of academic buildings;
• Renovations to Blackman Music Building and Wilson Hall;
Initiatives to Enhance Academic Excellence
• The establishment of the Nisbet Honors Program, an interdisciplinary program for academically gifted students;
• The Anne Morrison Chapman ’57 Study Abroad Experience Endowment, which provides scholarship support for Converse students to study throughout the world;
• 50 new scholarships for music, academic merit, and financial need;