A gift of $1 million to the Our Path Forward campaign by Pamela and Harvey F. Lodish 62, P’89, GP ’21, H’82 will endow the Lodish Family Scholarship Fund for need-based financial aid, with a preference for students from underrepresented groups.
They are contributing a second $1 million to challenge 10 donors to give $100,000 each – matching their gifts dollar for dollar — to the new President’s Fund, for which Kenyon hopes to raise $20 million in need-based scholarships to promote diversity.
At the gala opening of the campaign, Harvey noted, “Many years ago, I was a scholarship student at Kenyon. Pam and I are pleased to be able to give back so that other students with financial need in generations far into the future can have the same opportunity I had of a Kenyon education.”
The Lodish challenge would contribute a total of $2 million more to the President’s Fund, which was created in 2017 with generous leadership from former board chair Barry F. Schwartz ’70, H’15. As an endowment, the President’s Fund will expand Kenyon’s financial aid budget by contributing 4.5 percent of its invested market value year after year.
The additional $2 million to the President’s Fund would add $90,000 each year to Kenyon’s financial aid budget. Such funds keep pace with inflation through the growth of Kenyon’s endowment investments; the principal gift remains untouched.
Financial aid is the fastest growing item in Kenyon’s annual budget. The College seeks additional funds in the Our Path Forward campaign because census data indicates future students will be more in need of financial aid, more ethnically diverse and more likely to be the first in their family to attend college.
Harvey said, “It was our granddaughter Emma who reminded us that, for this campaign, scholarship support is the biggest need and an absolutely vital way to serve Kenyon’s future.”
Before a dinner last March with Emma Steinert ’21, daughter of Heidi Lodish Steinert ’89 and Eric Steinert ’89, Pam and Harvey were thinking of other gift possibilities. A Kenyon trustee from 1989 to 2007, Lodish steered the planning of new science and music facilities in the Claiming Our Place fundraising campaign, and in 1999 the couple donated $1.5 million to endow the Harvey F. Lodish Faculty Development Chair in the Natural Sciences to recruit promising young faculty.
Pam said, “At our dinner with Emma, Harvey discussed his plan to endow another professorship, but Emma emphasized that Kenyon really needed additional financial aid. Later, she sent us a booklet, based on a recent senior honors thesis in anthropology, pointing out in very human terms the challenges that these students face at Kenyon. All of this put a bug in our ear.”
Emma said, “My grandfather loves to talk about our experiences at Kenyon, and we were talking about what Kenyon needs. I was saying how I had taken ‘Latino Psychology’ this past spring semester with [Associate Professor of Psychology] Irene López, and a big conversation we had in the class was the lack of diversity at Kenyon. So, I was telling him how I think it would be a really good idea to have a scholarship for people of different backgrounds to be able to come to Kenyon.”
In the past decade, Kenyon has increased its annual financial aid spending more than $10 million, and this year such financial aid yielded the most diverse class in the College’s history. But the 10 colleges whose applicants also apply to Kenyon in the greatest numbers — peers such as Oberlin, Middlebury and Grinnell — all have endowments larger than Kenyon’s when measured per full-time student and thus have more financial aid to dispense.
Vice President for Advancement Colleen Garland said, “A larger endowment will help us keep pace with the growing financial need of today’s top students. The Our Path Forward campaign will improve access to Kenyon’s transformative liberal arts education and will supply these students with the resources needed to advance their visions.”
Almost 15,000 donors have supported the campaign so far with $226 million in gifts and commitments.