To the Marietta College Community:

As you read this, I am in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, cheering on our Etta Express in the 2022 Division III College World Series. I am extremely proud to be here as a Pioneer and I cannot wait to celebrate the team’s incredible season back in Marietta.

Meanwhile, another success that is worth celebrating is the progress our Advancement team—and the entire Marietta College family --  is making with “This is the Time” — the comprehensive campaign aimed at raising $100 million to secure a vibrant future for the College. The goal is to reach that milestone in mid-2024 and we are well on the way, with $84.5 million so far in gifts and pledges.

Nearly $22 million of that has come in the current fiscal year alone, which ends June 30th.

At a time when virtually all small private, independent colleges are struggling against the headwinds of declining enrollment and rising costs, it is encouraging and inspiring to reflect on the generosity and faith of donors — large and small — who give because they believe in the difference Marietta College makes in students’ lives.

Some of those donations already are at work. The Ronald ’72 and Simin Shelton Rinard International Travel Grants Program, to be funded over five years, ensures that Marietta will be able to continue the long tradition of helping students broaden their educations by studying abroad. This summer and fall, seniors Cole Longcor, Megan McGriff, Arabella Parsons, Casey Roeder, Eleanor Smith and Elizabeth Stern are learning in amazing locations including Ireland, South Korea and Spain.

Four other students are working with faculty this summer in undergraduate research projects. Academic enhancements like these are at the core of Marietta’s purpose and the Advancement team is making them a priority in conversations with prospective donors.

It bears noting that the donations are not all in the bank and they are not a blank check. About $22 million so far is in the form of planned (estate) giving and another $15 million is in pledges that will be fulfilled over the next two to three years. Many gifts come with restrictions on how they can be used.

That is why we designate a certain amount of unrestricted donations each year for The Marietta Fund, which we can tap for everyday operational expenses. Donors naturally love to fund scholarships and support their favorite athletic teams and we are very grateful for that. Not quite as many are excited about funding a new sewer line, no matter how desperately needed. This year’s Marietta Fund goal is $2.85 million, of which we have raised $2.7 million so far.

Among the most visible fruits of “This is the Time” will be a new student center to replace Gilman, built in 1959, and to allow us to once again provide all food service and student services under one roof. You can see a visualization the exterior here, the interior here and hear a student’s perspective on the need here.

Along with the comprehensive campaign, the Advancement team is always at work on mini-campaigns — special appeals built around a special occasion or cause. As we approach the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark Civil Rights Act legislation that opened the door to greater equity in women’s scholastic athletics, we’re raising money for a big celebration.

Finally, following each great Etta Express performance here in Cedar Rapids, we will be reaching out to baseball supporters, inviting them to support the team with a gift. We did the same a few weeks ago when coach Brian Brewer notched his astounding 600th victory as Marietta’s coach.

As you can see, for colleges like Marietta, fundraising never really ends. Fortunately, the passion that Marietta students and alumni have for the institution makes it a privilege — and very worthwhile.

Bring Forth a Pioneer!

Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management