Colorado College has received a $33.5 million future estate gift from an anonymous donor, the largest gift ever from an individual in the college’s 147-year history. The unprecedented estate commitment will support future needs of the college and provide funding for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.

“We cannot fully express how grateful we are to receive this unprecedented gift on behalf of the Colorado College community,” says Mike Edmonds, acting co-president of the college. “The donor who made this bequest for the future is showing gratitude for the powerful impact the college has on its students now — including our efforts toward antiracism and becoming more accessible — and entrusting CC to create even greater opportunities for thousands of students in the years ahead.”

In noting that the donor has designated the gift to support future needs of the college and to provide funding for the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Robert Moore, acting co-president of the college, says, “This donor, through their extraordinary bequest, will make a transformational difference for the future of the college and the Fine Arts Center. Their foresight and generosity inspires our entire community.”

The donor saw a chance to have a lasting impact with their gift.

“Colorado College has given so much to me, and it brings me great joy to see how CC positively changes the lives of students,” says the donor. “Every year I see curious, creative, critical thinkers expand their world, find their passion, and apply the knowledge and courage they gain at CC under the guidance of fantastic faculty and staff. That translates to exciting progress ahead for our world: This is where our next leaders are inspired. My wish is to keep that brilliance and spark bright for future generations.”

The donor also says they made the gift because they want other members of the CC community to participate with gifts of their own. The amount of the gift is much less important than the act of giving, says the donor.

“My first gift to Colorado College was $25. I’ve seen the promise that students bring, and that CC fosters. I encourage others to give back at all gift levels, because supporting this great place is a way to have impact far beyond the college’s boundaries, and far beyond this time.”

“The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College is beyond grateful for this incredible and generous gift,” says FAC Director Idris Goodwin. “As we strive to foster impact by supporting artists, educators, students, and communities across our region, generosity of this magnitude further cements our presence for future generations.”

He notes that because this is an estate bequest, it will likely be decades before the funds are received. The Fine Arts Center is not actively making plans for how the gift will be used; that will be up to the leadership in place when the gift is realized.

The college’s Building on Originality campaign is slated to end in December. Among its remaining priorities are:

  • Funds for a new Creativity & Innovation building
  • Increased scholarships and access
  • Increased alumni participation

The campaign supports strategic plan priorities developed during the nine-year presidency of Jill Tiefenthaler, who left the college in July 2020 to become the CEO of National Geographic. L. Song Richardson, current dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, will become CC’s 14th president on July 1.