Press Release Archive 2011 - 1999

ACI receives historic donation, changes name back to The College of Idaho, kicks off major fundraising campaign

2007. 10. 10.

CALDWELL In an historic announcement, Albertson College of Idaho President Bob Hoover said today that the College has received the largest gift ever given to an Idaho college or university, and that it's returning to its original name The College of Idaho.

The College also launched a 10-year, $175 million comprehensive fundraising campaign to improve facilities, endow scholarships and provide more opportunities for faculty and students.

The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation donated $50 million toward the College's comprehensive campaign the largest gift ever given to an Idaho college or university.

Including this $50 million gift, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation has given or committed $72 million in cash to the College over the past three years. Only five other liberal arts colleges in the United States have received larger gifts since 1967.

Hoover and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Jerry Baur thanked the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation for its many years of support at a news conference at the College.

"Our College has prospered in the last three years, both financially and academically," Hoover said. "We could not have done this without the support and patience of our faculty, staff, alumni and students, and the generous support of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation."

The decision to go back to the College's original name was a mutual decision between the College and the Foundation, said Tom Wilford, CEO of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.

"The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation is extremely proud of our association with this high-quality liberal arts institution here in Idaho, " Wiford said. "The Foundation and the College believe that the College will benefit in numerous ways from returning to its original name as it will open many more doors for recruiting and fundraising. "

The College had heard from many College of Idaho alumni who didn't feel connected to the name changed 16 years ago. Some also believed the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation was fully supporting the College, which made it difficult to raise money.

After conducting a study this spring, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation agreed that allowing the College to return to its original name would help it connect with alumni, fundraise more successfully, and continue to provide a high-caliber liberal arts education for generations to come.

"Going back to The College of Idaho is a bold, unprecedented step that we take with the full support of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation to help us unite our alumni, honor the important heritage of this institution and focus on our future, " Hoover said.

Details of the 10-year, $175 million comprehensive campaign are still being finalized. Options include:

  • A remodeled science hall

  • Endowed department chairmanships and professorships

  • New and remodeled residence halls

  • Increased scholarship money

  • Enhanced support for student activities such as international travel, debate, Model U.N., distinguished lecture series, etc.

The College of Idaho will continue to honor Joe and Kathryn Albertson for their contributions. Two buildings the Kathryn Albertson International Center and the J.A. Albertson Activities Center already exist. The College also hosts Kathryn Albertson Scholar Days every year.

"We are extremely grateful to the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation for the support they have given us over the years, " Board of Trustees Chairman Baur said. "They gave us more than money and the Albertson name 16 years ago they gave us the opportunity to re-establish ourselves and our identity. Without them, we would not have the success we do today. Even as we return to The College of Idaho name, we will forever be proud of our history as Albertson College of Idaho. "


Major gifts given to liberal arts colleges since 1967:

  1. Claremont-McKenna (Claremont, Calif.) $200 million in 2007

  2. DePauw University (Greencastle, IN) $128 million in stock in 1997

  3. Furman University (Greenville, SC) $115 million in real estate and other assets in 2001

  4. Colby College (Waterville, Maine) $100 million in art in 2007

  5. Westmont College (Santa Barbara, Calif.) $75 million in 2007 (nature of gift not disclosed)

  6. The College of Idaho $72 million in cash in 2005-2007

  7. Gordon College (Wenham, Mass.) $60 million bequest in 2007

  8. Berry College (Mount Berry, GA) $55 million charitable trust in 1995

  9. Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY) $50 million in cash in 2001

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, August 31, 2007