foundation’s 75 years benefit community, students
“A college is one of the best civic enterprises and wisest investments in which any community can participate. Actually, the benefits which this community derives through the constantly changing and growing student body are incalculable,” wrote Jacob L. Brenn, Huntington businessman and first board president of the Huntington University Foundation.
Brenn, along with eight other local businessmen, formed the first board of the Foundation 75 years ago on February 26, 1938. Huntington College professor Fred A. Loew would serve as the resident agent. Among the additional charter directors were Walter H. Ball, president of the Ball Printing Company; attorney George M. Eberhart; Philip P. Bash, president of the C.E. Bash Company; chiropractor Jacob P. Young; Dee R. Wygant, president of First National Bank; Lyman O. Knecht, Bippus farmer and stock dealer; attorney Sumner Kenner and Charles H. Cline of the Simpson Tile Factory.
The college and the community had shared a relationship since its beginnings in 1896 when a group of enterprising Huntington businessmen wanted to attract a college to the area and formed an association. With knowledge that the Church of the United Brethren in Christ were looking for a place to locate a college, they offered to construct a suitable building on 25 acres of land on the north side of Huntington. The offer was accepted and the institution was founded as Central College and grew with material assistance from the community over the years. The organization of the Foundation formalized the cooperation found between the community of Huntington and Huntington College.
This cooperation has continued 75 years through the work of the Huntington University Foundation. Its fundraising efforts have aided in the development of academic programs, strengthened the faculty base, established athletic scholarships, grown the campus and its buildings and reached out to a diverse group of students, locally and all over the world.
Each year the Foundation conducts the Local Scholarship Fund Drive raising funds for student scholarships. Local students have directly benefited from the tax-deductible gifts of area businesses and community leaders to the Huntington University Foundation. With enrollment of approximately 1,250, nearly 20 percent of students are from Huntington County.
Cash or other appreciated assets may be given to the Huntington County Grant. Scholarships created from this fund are awarded only to residents of Huntington County. The scholarship can follow the recipient through all four years at Huntington University as long as qualifying standards are met. Huntington County residents receive from $1,500 to $2,500 each from this restricted fund.
The Horizon Leadership Program in partnership with Youth for Christ began at Huntington University in 2008. As part of this program a group of community leaders, committed to making the city and county more welcoming to minorities, formed the Harmony Initiative Task Force under Huntington President G. Blair Dowden’s direction. Today, 10 percent of the Huntington University student body is comprised of U.S. minorities and international students. The first recipient of The Horizon Leadership Scholarship will graduate from Huntington University in 2013.
Gifts may also be given to increase an existing Endowed Scholarship or to establish a new one. The interest earned from the principal is used to benefit students for years to come. Endowment gifts strengthen the long-term financial health of the University. A new Named Endowed Scholarship may be established for a minimum gift of $20,000.
“Currently the Foundation is also reaching out to constituents, alumni, donors and friends in counties surrounding Huntington in order to create opportunities for students in these counties to receive scholarship money to attend Huntington University,” according to Mark Schenkel, Director of Community Relations/Major Gifts.
The Whitley County Grant Endowment is the first of these grants to be offered. Whitley County students who attend Huntington University will have the opportunity to receive scholarship dollars when this grant is fully funded. Gifts toward a $20,000 goal are currently being sought to make it possible for Whitley County students to receive scholarship money. Twenty-five Whitley county students are attending Huntington University for the 2012-2013 school year.
As part of the year long celebration of its 75th year, the Huntington University Foundation is conducting fundraising efforts toward a goal of $75,000 for endowed scholarships including the Whitley County Grant Endowment. The Huntington University Foundation continues in the university’s mission “to educate men and women to impact our world for Christ.” Special activities are also planned throughout the year and the annual dinner in September will be a Gala celebration.
The Huntington University Foundation office is located on the campus at 2303 College Avenue, Huntington, Indiana 46750. The Foundation can be reached by calling (260) 356-6000; fax, (260) 358-3700 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.