Anonymous Donor Pledges $1.2 Million to Support Whittier Students

March 2, 2022

Whittier College students in front of Deihl Hall A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has pledged an unrestricted gift of $1.2 million to Whittier College to support student success.

The College has received the first payment of $200,000, subsequent contributions will be paid out through 2024. 

“We are grateful to this generous donor, a member of the Poet community, who has provided the opportunity to develop and fund innovative programs that will help our students succeed at Whittier College and beyond,” said President Linda Oubré. “While this donor chose to avoid the spotlight, they hope that this gift will inspire others to make similar investments in the future of Whittier College students.” 

College leadership solicited ideas from faculty and staff regarding funding priorities. The selected programs listed below will have a far-reaching impact on equity and student success at Whittier. 
Quantitative Success Center

The objective of the Quantitative Success Center is to help students achieve comprehension and confidence in quantitative learning at all levels and to support faculty in developing more responsive quantitative pedagogies. The Center will help students develop math confidence and strong quantitative literacy skills. Students will have an array of programming available, such as peer tutoring, professional academic coaching and support, time management, and more. Success in gateway quantitative courses facilitates access to and persistence in high demand/high compensation STEM fields.
Summer Bridge Program

The purpose of a summer program is to provide a transformative “bridge” experience for rising first-year college students to ease the transition to the academic and social environment of college. The summer program will create an environment that fosters a sense of belonging and will familiarize students with college life by experiencing academic and social success in a setting designed to provide targeted and affirming support. The program will include college-level academic courses, social experiences, peer mentoring, and academic advising. 
Whittier College Visiting Writers Series

A writers series open to the entire Whittier College campus community that offers students the opportunity to meet and speak with professional and well-known writers. Led by Professor of English Language and Literature Tony Barnstone, the series will invite various authors to campus throughout the academic year to read their work and meet with students.

Creative Writing Prize for Students
The annual competition involves contests in fiction, poetry, and prose and is open to all Whittier College students. The gift will allow the English department to make this a sustainable program. 
John Greenleaf Whittier Social Justice Writing Prize
This new creative writing contest will focus on the theme of social justice. The competition will be open to all Whittier students. 
To maximize the impact of this generous gift, additional fundraising efforts will focus on making these new programs sustainable for years to come.