Lake Erie College successfully completes capital campaign with capstone gift of $1.5 million from Richard M. Osborne Sr.
Lake Erie College officials announced they have successfully concluded their capital campaign with more than $17 million in contributions and commitments. This is the largest and most successful fundraising effort in the history of the 153-year old liberal arts College.
Lake county resident Richard M. Osborne, who is chairman of the board and CEO of Energy West, Incorporated, provided a gift of $1.5 million to complete the campaign.
“We are grateful for the generosity of our alumni, parents, friends, foundations and corporations,” said President Michael T. Victor. “With their tremendous support, we can accommodate the bursting enrollment we have experienced over the last three years and prepare the infrastructure for the future,” said Victor.
He added, “I thank Rick Osborne for his outstanding gift that completed this campaign. He is an exemplary board member and someone who cares about the College and our community.”
In consideration of the $1.5 million capstone gift from Osborne, the Lake Erie College board of directors approved the renaming of the Garfield Center to the Tommy Osborne Center in memory of Osborne’s late son. The Garfield Center was the main facility of the former Andrews Osborne Academy prior to its acquisition by the College.
The Tommy Osborne Center currently contains 25 classrooms, a new boardroom, the Center for Entrepreneurship and space dedicated for the new graduate program for Montessori education that will be launched in the near future. This facility, along with the others on campus, is wireless and will be upgraded with more smart technologies in the future.
Lake Erie College received numerous major gifts since the capital campaign began when President Victor took the reins in July 2006, including a $4 million gift from an anonymous donor and a $1.3 million grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. These represent the largest gift and largest grant in the history of the College. The family of Jerome T. Osborne provided a $1 million gift approximately one year ago.
Other significant donors to the campaign include The Triple T. Foundation, The Reinberger Foundation, The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation, The Marion G. Resch Foundation, The George B. Storer Foundation, The Hershey Foundation, The Susan and John Turben Foundation, The Estate of Mary Novak, Classic Auto Group, The Jane D. White Fund of the Cleveland Foundation, The Parker Hannifin Foundation, Robert and Carol Morris, The Arlene and Arthur Holden Fund of the Cleveland Foundation, The Charles E. & Mabel M Ritchie Memorial Foundation, Tracy H. Dickinson, The GAR Foundation, The Lubrizol Foundation, The John P. Murphy Foundation, Charles and Deborah Royce, The Lake-Geauga Fund of the Cleveland Foundation, the late Jack Slattery, Shearer’s Foods, Inc., Doris Bray, The Collacott Foundation, Dana and Sherry Dennis, The Murch Foundation, The Fred A. Lennon Charitable Trust, The Jeanette and Frederick McIntyre Charitable Foundation Trust and many other individuals, foundations and organizations.
Gifts from the campaign have enabled the College to construct a new $3 million learning center at the George M. Humphrey Equestrian Center, acquire the former Andrews Osborne Academy property adjacent to the Painesville campus and improve every other facility and the grounds of campus. The $8 million renovation of Austin Hall of Science will begin later this year.
Students have, and will continue to, benefit from the campaign with new scholarships, academic programs such as the creation of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Montessori education, and sports program enhancements in order to accommodate Lake Erie College’s increasing presence in NCAA Division II athletics. Approximately $2 million in unrestricted support from the annual fund over the last two-and-a-half years is included in the $17 million capital campaign.
“This was an incredibly successful campaign and we are fortunate to end this appeal just 31 months from the start of President Victor’s administration and during these challenging economic times,” said Scott Evans, vice president for institutional advancement.
“The next campaign is already underway and will focus on scholarships, additional capital funds and endowments to sustain the College well into the future,” he added. Both of these campaigns will help the College meet its multi-year objective of obtaining $30 million in support of President Victor’s strategic plans. “We thank all of our donors for their contributions and their efforts to advance the institution,” said Evans.