Donors pledge over $500,000 to equity, inclusion at Carthage
Donors have already contributed more than $500,000 this fiscal year to support an expanding list of equity and inclusion initiatives at Carthage, officials announced during a Martin Luther King Day celebration Monday, Jan. 18.
The total includes $412,000 for intercultural programs born from an anti-racism plan of action that President John Swallow issued last summer. In the plan, Carthage committed to close the equity gap in graduation rates; expand resources for diversity, equity, and inclusion; and infuse the legacy of race and racism in the United States throughout the curriculum.
“The theme for our Dr. King celebration, ‘Moving from Spirit to Action,’ reflects Carthage’s determination to clear the educational obstacles that institutionalized inequities have placed in front of too many students,” said President Swallow. “Our march toward equity is as essential as it is ambitious, and this strong philanthropic support demonstrates a community-wide commitment to attain those goals.”
Solidifying its support for students from historically underserved minorities, Carthage has taken a variety of concrete steps in recent months by:
- opening an Intercultural Center for Equity, Advocacy and Engagement that serves as a safe space for students to gather and a hub for inclusive campus programming.
- joining Moon Shot for Equity, working with three other regional schools and education services firm EAB to eliminate racial graduation gaps by 2030.
- introducing the Anti-Racism and Intercultural Seminar Experience, a new requirement that challenges first-year students to fill in their understanding of diverse cultures.
Another $90,000 in fresh donations is designated for scholarships that support students of color. Non-white students made up 27 percent of the College’s traditional full-time student body in fall 2020.
Since the Wiggan-Kenniebrew Black Alumni Network formed in 2018 to assist students of color, supporters have committed more than $400,000 (including estate commitments) toward financial aid and experiential learning. In addition to general scholarship funds named for Carthage’s first Black female and male graduates — Lorraine Wiggan and Alonzo Kenniebrew — separate scholarships support those active in the Black Student Union and those studying music.
Since the 2020-21 fiscal year began July 1, major donors have included:
LeAnn Pedersen Pope and Clyde Smith McGregor – $260,000
Pedersen Pope, a retired Chicago attorney and 1979 Carthage graduate, serves as board chair for Opportunity International and assists with Chicago CRED. McGregor is a longtime investment portfolio manager.
“We are committed to anti-racism and the work of dismantling institutionalized inequities,” said Ms. Pedersen Pope. “Carthage’s intercultural and anti-racism program is both bold and courageous. We are grateful for the opportunity to support this important and timely initiative.”
Patrick and Kim Anderson – $100,000
A 1985 alumnus of the College, Patrick Anderson works as a prominent defense attorney in Virginia. His wife, Kim, is the first person of color to serve as executive director of the National Education Association. They are the parents of a Carthage student.
“Kim and I proudly support Carthage’s advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of the College’s mission to seek truth,” said Mr. Anderson, who serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. “We are overjoyed by Carthage’s intent to fortify its standing as an anti-racist institution, and we strongly believe Carthage and its graduates will be better for it.”
Alan and Sally Mills – $100,000
Alan Mills, a Carthage trustee and 1979 graduate, is an Indianapolis law partner. His wife, Sally, is a retired K-12 educator.
“I am impressed that my alma mater is addressing the impact of systemic racism in society and thrilled to financially help current students through the Wiggan-Kenniebrew scholarship program,” said Mr. Mills.
Phil and Diane Slocum – $25,000
Retired Chicago Board Options Exchange executive Phil Slocum (1974) and his wife, Diane (1976), a Presbyterian pastor, are both alumni. Mr. Slocum (who is white) traces his lifelong awareness of racial issues back to his father, who led a company of Black and Hispanic men in the U.S. Army during World War II.
College officials also recognized a pair of ELCA congregations for significant scholarship contributions: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Milwaukee and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Brookfield.
“I am proud of the role our team has played in supporting the equity and inclusion initiatives of the College,” said Thomas Kline, who oversees Carthage’s alumni engagement and fundraising efforts as vice president for institutional advancement. “To match the passion of our donors with the greatest needs of the College and our students is deeply rewarding.”
In place of regularly scheduled classes on Monday, Carthage held a series of afternoon events for students, faculty and staff to emulate the work of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The College plans events throughout the semester “to inspire every member of our campus to strengthen our community, helping manifest the dream of Dr. King — a world that works for everyone.”