Nearly 10,000 Friends Donate $186 Million in the College’s Largest Campaign

Thanks to the support of nearly 10,000 friends, Gordon College has reached a major milestone: Raising $186 million through the most ambitious, most successful campaign in the College’s history. The Faith Rising comprehensive campaign officially concludes on June 30, 2021 (a year ahead of schedule), but already surpassed its original $130 million goal by 43 percent. In addition to a transformative lead gift of $75.5 million committed two years ago—the largest ever made to a Christian liberal arts college—Gordon received a $40 million planned giving commitment from the same anonymous donor to serve as the capstone to this fundraising endeavor. 

“This extraordinary outcome offers palpable hope for the vitality of Gordon College in the long run as it expands opportunities for students and serves as an additional safeguard against the threats facing higher education in the years ahead,” said Herman J. Smith Jr. ’70, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees.

The College launched Faith Rising in 2017 with a quiet phase and an aspirational goal three times larger than Gordon’s last major comprehensive campaign (Salt & Light, more than 20 years ago). The campaign centered around three essential objectives—to provide greater affordability for students, to fund innovations that might facilitate a more adaptable education, and to support a robust Christian community on campus. 

“This campaign is a ringing endorsement for the relevance and the appeal of a Christian higher education,” said President D. Michael Lindsay, whose own decade-long tenure at Gordon College also concludes next month, when he will leave to become president of Taylor University in Indiana. “The level of philanthropic support for this campaign far exceeded our hopes and aspirations and would not have been possible without donors who were willing to step up boldly to leave an enduring imprint on the College’s financial vitality and to further Gordon’s unique standing in New England.” 

Here are some of the most significant highlights of Faith Rising, particularly those with impact on student affordability and their Gordon experience: 

Endowment. The campaign has more than doubled Gordon’s endowment to nearly $100 million. Gordon eclipsed its peers with the number one endowment growth during the quiet phase of the campaign, and its endowment-per-student has grown 172 percent over the course of the campaign.

Scholarships. The Faith Rising campaign has added more than 20 new endowed scholarships, which help offset the cost of college for students without adding pressure to Gordon’s annual budget.

The Gordon Game Change. Gordon took a bold move toward greater affordability for students in reducing tuition by 33 percent (nearly $13,000), underwritten by the campaign, while continuing to offer substantive scholarships. 

Endowed chairsFaith Rising has fully funded four new endowed chairs: Dr. Sarita Kwok, Adams Endowed Chair in Music; Dr. Jennifer Hevelone-Harper ’92, Loring-Phillips Endowed Professorship in History; Dr. Daniel Darko, Wilson-Ockenga Endowed Professorship in Biblical and Theological Studies; and Dr. Priscilla Nelson ’74, Richard F. Gross Endowed Professorship in Education.

New learning programsFaith Rising has funded Gordon’s expansion of available technologies to make hybrid and fully remote learning possible, even before the COVID-19 pandemic required it. More learners will have access to a Gordon education than ever before. 

Athletics Rising. This specific component of the campaign served to enhance the experience for Gordon’s student-athletes, who make up roughly one-quarter of the current student body and one-third of the incoming class. Most visible—thanks to generous support from the Kanas family—is the renovated Bennett Athletic Center

Learn more at

Pictured above: In a celebration event on the Gordon quad last night, President Michael Lindsay announced the grand total raised thus far in the Faith Rising campaign, alongside (right to left) Rebecca Lindsay, Trustee Samuel A. Schreiner III and Chairman of the Board Herman Smith Jr., to Gordon’s Board of Trustees, donors and friends.