At St. John’s, our prime directive is to offer the unique education that defines the St. John’s experience to all those potential Johnnies who seek it. To do this, St. John’s is adopting a new financial model that will dramatically transform the college’s ability to attract and retain those students who want to benefit from a St. John’s education.
Our new financial model is composed of two essential and concurrent actions.
We will make St. John’s more accessible by reducing our published undergraduate tuition to $35,000, eliminating more than a decade of tuition increases.
The impact of this tuition reduction will be dramatic, because it will substantially reduce one of the most significant barriers to admission. Lowering the published tuition will also align St. John’s closer to its core values of offering an honest education at an honest price.
How is such a reduction possible?
It will be made possible by those alumni and friends who love the college and understand how important it is to maintain St. John’s as a distinctive option for students who yearn for what St. John’s offers. This love of the college will be expressed through an unprecedented outpouring of philanthropy at all levels—philanthropy that will ensure that the St. John’s experience will be made available to those who seek it for generations to come.
To do this, St. John’s is launching Freeing Minds: A Campaign for St. John’s College.
This $300 million campaign will add $200 million to our endowment, provide $50 million to further strengthen the finances of the college through support of the Annual Fund and other yearly contributions, and ensure $50 million in essential improvements needed on both campuses.
A truly transformational pledge—the largest gift in the history of St. John’s—has allowed us to set a goal for the campaign that was previously inconceivable.
Alumni Warren and Barbara Winiarski have created a challenge grant from the Winiarski Family Foundation, matching dollar for dollar, every gift given to the college to any fund with a gift to the endowment—up to $50 million dollars—as a part of the Freeing Minds campaign.
This visionary gift will ensure St. John’s future for many generations to come and also underscores the principles of the campaign—that a St. John’s education should be affordable and accessible to all qualified applicants and Johnnies who seek it.
The addition of $200 million to the endowment will more than double its size, eventually infusing an additional $10 million annually into the operating budget of the college.
The impact of this cannot be overstated, particularly on the college’s ability to be more affordable and accessible.
The success of this campaign will, in fact, preserve the essence of what makes St. John’s so very distinct.
It is the fuel for continuing the Great Conversation. It will allow future Johnnies with the courage and fortitude to engage the Program, regardless of financial need, to sit around the seminar table in a Johnnie chair and learn in a way that is unlike any other classroom in America. It will also allow the college to preserve and continue its distinctive Graduate Institute programs in the Liberal Arts and the Eastern Classics for future GI Johnnies. It will allow St. John’s to continue to free minds.
In addition to significantly strengthening the operating finances of the college, a greatly expanded Annual Fund will support areas alumni want improved. These include creating stronger student supports in areas such as academics, mental health, and student life, and expanding our career services and professional development programs for students. We will also support tutors in their own professional and academic development.
Freeing Minds: A Campaign for St. John’s College will be as different from the campaigns of other schools as our Program is from their educational offerings.
While both campuses will receive funds to ensure proper maintenance, no new buildings will be constructed. The dollars raised will go almost entirely to things you cannot see, such as financial aid, and to vital campus improvements and upgrades to dormitories, libraries, and classrooms. In fact, if you visit classes 10 years from now, the experience of the Program will remain fundamentally unchanged.
How will St. John’s be different at the end of this campaign?
The college will maintain an affordable tuition price and allocate significant resources to support students with real financial need. The Annual Fund will ensure the financial viability and vitality of the college and continue to improve the scaffolding that surrounds and supports the Program. And we will continue to support the faculty, improve the campus experience outside of the classroom, and offer enhanced opportunities for students to explore career options and to connect to our alumni.
A bold vision and a courageous plan. An ambitious campaign predicated on a new financial model and an extraordinary challenge grant.
As a result of these efforts, St. John’s College will be the same but better. The education the college provides will remain transformative and the college itself will be transformed.