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William T. Kemper Foundation makes $1 million gift to William Jewell College
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
November 13, 2008

The William T. Kemper Foundation has pledged $1 million to assist William Jewell College in its plan to construct a premier learning and resource center for scholars in the 21st century.

“The Kemper Foundation is pleased to be a part of William Jewell’s efforts to address the needs of research and scholarship,” said Michael Fields, Executive Director of the William T. Kemper Foundation. “The information revolution has expanded the methodology of academic research. We are pleased to see that William Jewell, like other top colleges in the nation, is adjusting to meet the demands of the future.”

The gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation follows a $6.5 million pledge from the Hall Family Foundation to support the project and other goals related to the college’s strategic plan.

The $13 million capital project will reflect a new model and delivery system for academic resources and scholarly collaboration. “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. David Sallee, President of William Jewell College. “We envision a new kind of library that will serve 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.”

In recognition of this generous gift, the facility will house the William T. Kemper Collegiate Commons, a space designated for students and faculty to gather for study, discussion and connection.

“The William T. Kemper Collegiate Commons will be a premier space in a facility that will stand as a visible symbol that William Jewell College is committed to building and sustaining a vibrant scholarly community not found elsewhere in the region,” said Dr. Chad Jolly, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “We are pleased that the William T. Kemper Foundation shares our vision for how to best prepare students to lead and serve in a rapidly changing world.”

The William T. Kemper Foundation’s gift supports a major initiative in the college’s strategic plan, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2007. 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;

• Investments in financial aid to strengthen the college’s ability to provide scholarship support to keep Jewell accessible for all deserving applicants;

• Broadening internship, study abroad, and other experiential learning opportunities that unfold within the context of a rigorous core curriculum;

• Opening national recruitment markets to create a more dynamic and diverse student body.
 
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