Kalamazoo College Receives Historic $30 Million Gift

President Jorge G. Gonzalez addressing students, faculty and staff
President Jorge G. Gonzalez announces a $30 million gift from an anonymous donor—the largest single gift commitment in the College’s history.
Sophomore Blake Filkins and senior Darsalam Amir, representing K’s student-government organization at the announcement of a $30 million gift to the College.
President Jorge G. Gonzalez speaking
President Gonzalez announcing a $30 million gift to the College from an anonymous donor.

For 190 years, Kalamazoo College has graduated generations of enlightened leaders who have made an impact on the world. Today, the College is grateful to recognize a major contribution to that effort with the announcement of a $30 million gift from an anonymous donor—the largest single gift commitment in the College’s history. 

“This incredibly generous gift will be transformative for K,” President Jorge G. Gonzalez said. “It will allow us to launch several strategic initiatives that will enhance the College’s ability to fulfill its mission with distinction and prepare K graduates to bring a brighter light to the world. This gift will put us on the path toward creating the campus experience of the future and help us ensure every student at the College is positioned for success. We are so grateful to the donor for this extraordinary investment in K’s future.”

Primary among those initiatives is re-envisioning the residential experience and planning for future construction of a new residence hall on the College’s historic campus, as well as developing new programs to support student success, with a focus on first-generation students. In fall 2023, 30 percent of K’s first-year students were first-generation, as the College continues to expand higher education access for talented students of all backgrounds. 

“To ensure equitable access to K for students who are among the first in their families to attend college, our responsibility extends beyond admittance—we must provide the resources that will see them through to graduation,” Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students J. Malcolm Smith said. “The resources—such as access to personal and professional networks, leadership development opportunities, and financial support to make the most of their college experience—that may be readily available to many college-bound students often don’t exist for first-gen students. Yet there are ways to ensure that those who need support can succeed and make a big impact on the world.”

Fall image at Kalamazoo College generous gift
The College will celebrate its 190th year by expanding the goal of the College’s Brighter Light Campaign from $150 million to at least $190 million by September 2024.

In conjunction with the gift announcement, the College is pleased to announce that it will celebrate its 190th year by expanding the goal of the College’s Brighter Light Campaign from $150 million to at least $190 million raised by September 2024, when the campaign concludes. 

Since its launch in 2018, more than 15,000 alumni and friends have contributed to the Brighter Light Campaign, raising more than $180 million dollars with the addition of this latest gift to the institution. The campaign supports student access to every aspect of a Kalamazoo College education—from scholarship support to study abroad funding to internship and research stipends—and it has provided investments in the institution’s faculty, renovations to instructional spaces, athletic programming, and other aspects of campus life. 

“Completing the last year of the campaign with the theme of ‘190 for 190’ is a fitting way to recognize both the enduring and evolving traditions of Kalamazoo College and celebrate this record-breaking campaign,” Vice President for College Advancement Karen Isble said. “While it’s always wonderful to achieve the philanthropic goals of a campaign, the most exciting and important aspect of any fundraising endeavor is making a tangible difference in the lives of our students, faculty and staff. This amazing gift, and the gifts from each of the 15,000 donors who have supported the Brighter Light Campaign so far, helps us do that and more.”

About Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo College, founded in 1833, is a nationally recognized residential liberal arts and sciences college located in Kalamazoo, Mich. The creator of the K-Plan, Kalamazoo College provides an individualized education that integrates rigorous academics with life-changing experiential learning opportunities. For more information, visit www.kzoo.edu.

The Brighter Light Campaign is raising $190 million to provide endowed and annual support for students, faculty and staff, curricular and co-curricular activities, athletics and campus facilities. For more information, visit the Brighter Light Campaign page: www.kzoo.edu/brighterlight.