ArtCenter Exceeds Fundraising Campaign Goal, Pulls in $124 Million

$124 Million Raised is Largest Fundraising Total in College’s 89-year History as Student Population Thrives. More than 3,000 donors rally to transform ArtCenter for a rapidly growing new generation of artists and designers.

Published : Friday, July 26, 2019 | 11:33 AM

ArtCenter College of Design today announced that it has surpassed its ambitious $100 million fundraising campaign goal with a total of $124 million raised. During an era of significant growth for the College, a diverse group of donors contributed more than 7,000 gifts to increase scholarships, double the size of its South Campus facilities and build ArtCenter’s endowment.

The goal of Accelerate: The Campaign to Create Change is to reaffirm ArtCenter’s role as a leader in a world now driven by all things visual and digital. A community of more than 3,000, including alumni, trustees, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends, foundations and corporate partners rallied to support the College’s students at a time when demand for art and design talent has never been higher.

Today’s economy is led by design-driven businesses creating new technologies, products and media that impact our daily lives. ArtCenter is educating the next generation of artists and knowledge makers to meet this increased demand for design thinking and design leaders.

The increased financial support has enabled growth in nearly every aspect of the College: enrollment, scholarships, new programs, a dramatically expanded South Campus, and greater public visibility.

“I am deeply inspired by the support we’ve seen for ArtCenter during this campaign,” said Lorne M. Buchman, president of ArtCenter College of Design. “I have enormous gratitude for the generous individuals who have helped us realize our vision, and I am especially gratified with the success of our goal to increase scholarships for diversity and for creating broader access to an ArtCenter education.”

During the campaign, annual donor scholarship funds increased 35 percent, to $2.3 million. About 70 percent of the 2,200 students enrolled at the College now receive some kind of financial aid.

“Every student who is accepted to the College but cannot afford to attend deprives the world of high-potential talent,” said Provost Karen Hofmann (BS 97). “Scholarships enhance our ability to create a socio-economically and culturally diverse campus.”

The College began the Accelerate Campaign focused entirely on enhancing the educational experience for students.

Since the 2011 campaign kick-off, ArtCenter has seen a significant increase in the number of students enrolled, along with growth of programs and physical facilities. During this time, the student population rose by 32 percent­ – from 1,500 to 2,200 – and the College launched ten new educational programs and tracks, including three graduate degree offerings.

Meanwhile, the College increased its visibility in Pasadena in the last seven years with a 53 percent expansion of its overall physical footprint. Through strategic repurposing of existing adjacent properties, the South Campus has expanded from one to three buildings and now serves as the prominent landmark at the gateway into the city from the 110 Freeway. New facilities within this seven-acre parcel include dedicated studios for upper term students, maker spaces, student galleries and public exhibition spaces.

Community-Informed Growth

When Buchman took office in 2009, he began listening to individuals across the College—especially students—and externally, such as alumni and other thought-leaders in key industries and artistic disciplines across the country and internationally. He sought input through open dialog and collaborative conversations, looking at ArtCenter’s “community” holistically. The strong consensus was that there was greater potential for impact and that scaling up ArtCenter’s activities was both feasible and needed by the public.

Buchman channeled this input into Create Change, the College’s strategic plan updated through 2021. The community’s participation in the plan became its core strength. The plan was met with positive reviews by both local government officials and by national educational accrediting bodies.

Greater Impact on the Next Generation

ArtCenter is regarded worldwide as one of the most respected pipelines for the creative workforce. As its student population increases, so does its potential to be a catalyst for influencing positive changes in industry and society at large.

“Designing the future of one of the world’s premier art and design schools—designing ourselves—is among the most challenging assignments we’ve ever faced,” said Buchman. “The outcome of our plan will define the experience of our students and shape the value of what we create for decades to come.”





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