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Donation Earmarked for the Sevier Valley Center and for a Nursing Scholarship Endowment


By Rick Pike

RICHFIELD, Utah April 28, 2006—Michael T. Benson, president of Snow College, used the graduation ceremonies in Richfield today to announce the biggest donation ever - $1 million - to the Snow-Richfield campus from anonymous donors.

“This is truly a banner day for this campus and for this community,” stated Benson. “The donors have deep roots in this part of the state and their generosity is further evidence of their commitment to see increased opportunities for the citizens of central Utah.”

Benson detailed how the $1 million gift will be used: the majority of the donation will help pay down Snow College’s obligation to the CIB loan secured in 2002, thus freeing up more funds to be used for programming and increased events at the Sevier Valley Center. The remainder will be used to establish a scholarship endowment for nursing scholarships at the Richfield campus.

“Snow College, together with these donors, is very interested in seeing our nursing program grow. These scholarship monies will enable us to enroll more students and expand our offerings,” observed Benson.

This gift puts Snow College on track to set a new fund raising record for 2006 and to break the $2 million mark for the first time in its 118-year history. Last month, the College announced that $1,208,140 was raised in 2005 - the third straight year that the total has increased. Snow brought in $885,267 in 2003 and $1,097,700 in 2004. Only the $1,889,735 raised in 2002 surpasses 2005 totals.

Annual development totals have skyrocketed nearly 500 percent during President Benson’s tenure. “We’ve been extremely fortunate to match our needs with donors’ gifts over the past few years,” stated development director Rick Pike. In the five years prior to Benson’s arrival in Ephraim, Snow averaged $263,733 per year. From 2002-2005, Snow has averaged $1,272,813 per year.

At his inauguration in 2002, Benson outlined his vision for Snow College and introduced “FPASS” to students and faculty - an acronym for facilities and faculty, programs, athletics and student scholarships. They represent areas of focus and are broken down each year as fundraising priorities. In 2005, over $528,000 were raised for student scholarships and over $500,000 were raised for facilities.

Snow raised $284,940 in 2002 towards scholarships, $348,827 in 2003, $635,178 in 2004 and $528,118 in 2005. While the growth is significant, the College could use much more in scholarship donations.

“We’re thrilled with the generosity of so many but we can still use much more. We don’t have the large endowments that other colleges and universities do so we invite existing and new donors to establish endowments or give annual scholarships,” explained Benson. Today’s gift toward a nursing scholarship endowment is the first of many Benson and his colleagues at Snow would like to establish.

In June 2006, Snow will receive a $500,000 gift from Jon and Karen Huntsman - the first installment on a $2 million pledge to the Karen Huntsman Library. Benson and other Snow officials are lobbying the State Legislature to secure the funding necessary to move forward with the design and construction of the library. The project has gained momentum and increased support because the $22 million price tag is offset with funds Snow has raised - $2 million from the Huntsman’s, $1 million from Sanpete County, $100,000 from Ephraim City and $200,000 from the federal government.