Oberlin Illuminate Latest News

Oberlin Illuminate Campaign Making Significant Advances


The Oberlin Illuminate campaign has made significant progress in the last 12 months. In January of 2015, Oberlin announced that the campaign exceeded its original goal of $250 million, 18 months ahead of schedule. Fiscal 2015 closed at $264.2 million, and in the first six months of Fiscal 2016 we added over $30 million to that total. As Oberlin Illuminate moves into the final phase of the campaign, fundraising has topped $294.8 million. Between now and the campaign's finish on June 30, 2016, our goal is to exceed $300 million in total gifts and commitments.

Campaign Priorities

Oberlin College has remained focused on achieving the goals for three key campaign priorities:  Scholarships & Financial Aid, Health & Wellness and Hall Auditorium. Here are more details on each priority.

Scholarships & Financial Aid: We are approaching $70 million in gifts, pledges, and estate commitments to scholarships, which at $90 million is the largest priority of the campaign. Realized bequest gifts have accounted for over one-third of the total raised for scholarships, and more than 60% of the total bequests received in the campaign so far have gone to scholarships.  

We have also received $26 million in estate commitments earmarked to be added to the unrestricted endowment. The combined value of these two categories brings the total over the $90 million mark, though the campaign remains committed to ending on the highest dollar figure possible in order to help the greatest number of students.

Health & Wellness: Recent commitments have pushed the total amount raised for the renovation of Carr Pool and the building of a new health & wellness/fitness center to over $11.5 million. The expectation was that the College would supplement fundraising with up to $4 million from the endowment, which would cover the expected $15.4 million cost of the project. However, when construction bids were received in mid-December, the true cost was almost 20 percent higher, due to the robust construction market in NE Ohio and higher than expected materials cost. As a result, the project has been delayed while additional fundraising and/or other less expensive options using existing but underutilized space in Philips Gym are evaluated. 

Hall Auditorium: In recent weeks, four significant gifts have been finalized toward the construction of a new adaptable theater, lobby and back-of-the-house spaces to be built as an addition to the south side of Hall Auditorium. These gifts, total $9.6 million toward the estimated $12-$14 million cost of the project. The planning process for Hall continues to move forward as additional significant gifts are sought to close this remaining gap.

Campaign Ending & Celebration

Oberlin Illuminate ends on June 30, 2016, and the official on-campus celebration will take place on Friday, October 7, 2016. 

With the help of our alumni, friends, staff, students, and partners, Oberlin College is on track to a very strong finish to the Oberlin Illuminate campaign. We appreciate the hard work of everyone who played a roll over the years and look forward to celebrating our success later this year.