Longtime Benefactors Commit $26.5 Million to Gordon College

Prominent Christian philanthropists and longtime Gordon College benefactors Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler announced today a $26.5 million legacy gift commitment—a show of significant financial support for Gordon’s future vitality in a legacy of generosity from the couple that extends back nearly two decades. The College named their 475-acre campus in honor of the Fowlers in 2007. 

“When I came to Gordon as president nearly two years ago, I quickly discovered the extent of the imprint the Fowlers had already left on campus,” said President Michael Hammond in sharing the news with the College’s faculty and staff today. “We are thrilled to reengage with Dale and Ann in this transformative way as we work to secure Gordon’s future as well as reshape and innovate in our present. It’s a process we cannot accomplish solely on our own. We need benefactors like the Fowlers who are not only passionate about the life changing potential for students at Christian institutions, but who have shown time and again their love for Gordon College in particular.” 

The Fowlers were first introduced to the College in the early 2000s through grandchildren who attended and raved about their experience—Sarah (Smith) Robblee ’08, Jeremy Smith ’10 and Aaron Smith ’16. Natives of Orange County in California, the couple has also maintained a residence for many years in nearby Beverly Farms. 

“Even while away from this campus, my wife and I have watched closely to see how Gordon was navigating this challenging climate for higher education and especially as a Christian institution in New England,” said Dale Fowler, whose successful business enterprises over many years specialized in real estate and industrial property development, particularly in southern California. “We are very impressed with this new president and his team and their willingness to innovate in not only their academic program and the campus experience, but in how they are telling the great story of Gordon. Ann and I believe it is essential in New England in particular to persuade Christian families that Gordon is not only a great choice, it’s the right choice for anyone committed to Christ and serious about a robust education and outstanding career preparation. It’s something we’ve literally put our name behind. We are grateful to again share from what the Lord has blessed us with in order to be a blessing to others.”  

Over the years the Fowlers have funded and are in the process of adding to extensive aesthetic renovations inside and outside Gordon’s iconic Frost Hall building (which is the first point of contact for prospective students and families), as well as the main atrium in the Jenks Library facility. They recently donated a fleet of state-of-the-art electric transport vehicles to improve the campus tour experience and the first impression Gordon can make with visitors.  

This legacy gift is a testamentary pledge to Gordon as part of the Fowler’s estate, to pass to the College at a later date. The Fowlers have also given generously over the years to select Christian institutions in southern California. As part of Gordon’s 2023 Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 13, the Fowlers were awarded honorary doctorates. Dale was conferred a Doctor of Business, and Ann a Doctor of Public Service. Both were recognized at the event by President Hammond and Carrie Tibbles ’93, the chair of Gordon’s Board of Trustees and Vice Chair of Education in Emergency Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. 

Pictured above: Jeremy Smith ’10, Sarah (Smith) Robblee ’08, Sarah Ann Fowler, Dale E. Fowler and Aaron Smith ’16