Albertson College of Idaho Continues March to the Top 100 Liberal Arts Colleges with Renewed Support
2006. 11. 17.
Albertson College of Idaho has received a vote of confidence from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation in the form of a new $5 million per year Evergreen Grant and funding to launch a campaign to upgrade the college's science facilities.
In February 2005, the college received a $17 million challenge grant over three years from the philanthropy with the goal of supporting the college in its endeavor to look more like a U.S. News Top 100 National Liberal Arts College.
This week the Foundation ended the challenge grant one year early and extended a new $5 million per year rolling grant for three years beginning in January 2007. This Evergreen grant will be continually funded on a rolling three year cycle. If at any time the grant is terminated, the college will receive $5 million/per year for three more years from the date of termination. In addition the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation provided the college an additional $5 million to launch a $17 million fundraising campaign to remodel the college's Boone Science Hall.
"The renewal of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Challenge grant gives the college the financial stability to focus on long term priorities that will ultimately allow us to reach our goal of providing our students with the very best education in the country," CofI President Bob Hoover said.
"We could not be more grateful for the Foundation's generosity and support." Gerald Baur, Chair of the CofI Board of Trustees said, "This is a remarkable commitment by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation which will make a significant difference as the college seeks to position itself as a Top 100 National Liberal Arts College."
With the support of the Foundation over the past two years, CofI has increased both its enrollment and the caliber of the students recruited. This fall the college enjoyed its third highest level of enrollment in nearly four decades and increased its retention rate –the rate at which freshmen students return to the college as sophomores - to 83 percent. That is a 15 percent increase in the retention rate in the last six years.
While the college has traditionally enrolled the best freshman class in Idaho, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation grant provides the opportunity to attract even more of Idaho's best and the brightest, many of whom leave the state for higher education elsewhere. The college has used some of the grant to expand upon the Albertson Heritage Scholarship- a full-tuition scholarship for students with outstanding high school records who also rank in top one percent of the ACT or SAT pool. The profile of this year's freshman class was again the best in the state with 40 percent of the freshman class in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. The top quarter of the freshman class was in the top seven percent of the national ACT/SAT pool and had a 4.00 high school grade point average or better.
The Boone Science Hall was constructed in 1967 and is nearly 80,000 square feet. In order for the facility to continue to be a leading center for undergraduate science education, it is in need of a thorough remodeling and updating of its infrastructure, classroom technology, and laboratory spaces and equipment.
The college is committed to share in the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation's mission of improving Idaho education and has focused on creating a program of distinction in teacher education. This fall, the college hired a new director of the education department to expand the college's effort to prepare a new generation of quality instructors to educate both Idaho's children and Idaho's teachers.
"We believe with more national recognition and an increased focus on distinctive areas such as science education, CofI will continue to attract the best and brightest students from Idaho and elsewhere and give them the kind of experience which will lead them to remain and contribute to this state," said CofI Trustee Kenneth C. Howell.