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Determined to continue on its rising trajectory during an increasingly competitive era in higher education, Carthage has launched the public phase of a $100 million fundraising campaign.

At a kickoff dinner on campus in late July, officials announced that several donors have made major, multi-year financial commitments toward targeted areas of need. Those include a $5 million pledge from Board Chair Jeff Hamar ’80 and his wife, Susan, that’s designated for program innovation.

?Light That Travels? is the theme for Carthage's $100 million fundraising campaign, which entered... The campaign comes on the heels of several years of sustained growth. Carthage’s first-year undergraduate enrollment rose 6.6 percent between 2019 and 2022, and this fall’s incoming class is on pace to become the largest in the College’s history.

Compare that to a 6 percent decline nationwide over the same three-year period, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The outlook has been equally dark in Wisconsin, where incoming classes at most other colleges and universities have shrunk — dramatically, in some cases.

Snap-on Inc. CEO Nicholas T. Pinchuk, a member of the college’s Board of Trustees and chair of the campaign, praised Carthage President John Swallow for possessing the rare insight and vision to restore the link between “places of thought” and “places of work.”

A 2023 Carthage College graduate beams as she leaves the Commencement stage after receiving her d... “John Swallow is a leader,” Mr. Pinchuk said. “He understands what Carthage’s strengths are and how to expand them. He has led Carthage to adapt to the current environment. He has led Carthage to be a growing player in this great region we hold so dear.”

President Swallow affirmed that “our aspiration is to teach more students than ever before, from more backgrounds than ever before, in more fields than ever before, and to provide a stronger preparation for life and career than ever before.”

In part, that means continuing to extend the college’s scope beyond the traditional four-year educational model. For example, he said, it’s important to serve students who want to obtain a two-year degree now while preserving the option to complete a bachelor’s degree later.

Carthage has laid out three broad philanthropic priorities for the fundraising campaign:

1. Scholarships and Other Financial Aid

Provide access to Carthage for students from more backgrounds through financial aid for tuition, internships, and study abroad.

2. Program Innovation

Quickly develop new programs and expand current offerings in nursing, pre-health, engineering, business, and other high-demand fields.

3. Sustained Excellence

Reinforce the College’s time-honored programs by endowing professorships in the liberal arts and sciences, upgrading A. F. Siebert Chapel and other facilities, and enhancing athletics and the arts.

The campaign theme, “Light That Travels,” pays homage to generations of Carthage alumni who have brightened all aspects of their communities through dedication to their families, workplaces, service organizations, and places of worship.

Visit the campaign website to find details, about the campaign priorities, track our progress, and learn how to be a Light That Travels: