Achievement of Key Challenge Marks Launch of Campaign’s Public Phase
CHICAGO (Sept. 28, 2007)— Erikson Institute, one of the nation’s leading graduate schools in child development, today announced a $30 million, five-year fundraising campaign, Fulfilling the Promise: The Campaign for Erikson Institute. The campaign will expand Erikson’s work in early childhood education and research and its impact in the communities it serves. It will also give the Chicago-based graduate school a permanent home, the first in its 40-year history.
The campaign has had significant early success. Personal gifts and pledges totaling more than $12.1 million from its 42-member Board of Trustees have earned Erikson a $2 million challenge grant from the Irving Harris Foundation, which also gave a lead gift of $2 million. With these early donations, Erikson has raised more than half of its campaign goal.
As interest in early childhood has expanded, the school has experienced tremendous growth. The new campus, nearly twice the size of its currently leased space at 420 N. Wabash Ave., will accommodate a student enrollment that has more than doubled in the past five years.
As important, the Campaign for Erikson Institute will increase the number of children and families the school is able to serve, whether directly or indirectly. Campaign funds will expand ongoing research and social policy work, underwrite community-based programs, extend the school’s professional development programs, support faculty innovation and distinguished chairs, increase available funds for student scholarships and fellowships, and focus increased resources on academic programs.
Co-chaired by Erikson alumna Virginia Bobins and her husband, Norman Bobins, the campaign steering committee has been instrumental in securing early, major commitments, among them a $750,000 commitment from Polk Bros. Foundation and $250,000 pledged by LaSalle Bank.
“This is truly a transformational time for Erikson Institute,” said Virginia Bobins, who in addition to being a graduate and campaign co-chair is an Erikson trustee. “Our success would not be possible without the commitment and dedication that has been shown by all of Erikson’s board members. With their support and that of long-time partners in Chicago’s philanthropic community, we are now able to expand our outreach and to identify other friends willing to work with us to ensure the future of this premier center of child development education, practice and research.”
Erikson broke ground on its new campus in January 2007. The new facility, now under construction, is located at the corner of LaSalle Blvd. and Illinois St., not far from the graduate school’s current location, and is easily accessible to students, faculty, staff and visitors. As the building’s anchor, Erikson will own three floors totaling approximately 75,000 square feet and will have its own address: 451 N. LaSalle.
“We have really outgrown our current space,” said Erikson Institute president Samuel J. Meisels. “This new facility is important because it will open the door to a greater number of students who will go on to serve more children and families in Chicago and throughout the country. As Erikson grows, we will be able to create new programs and expand existing ones to keep up with the demand for well-trained child development professionals from school districts, social service agencies, medical centers and the courts.”
The new permanent space will include a specialized library, seminar rooms, state of the art technology and a clinical area for children and families as well as increased space for the Herr Research Center for Children and Social Policy. Erikson will have its own two-story lobby entrance with dedicated elevators.
“We launched this significant capital campaign because we realized that the future of Erikson’s mission would be compromised if we didn’t move ahead,” said Richard P. Kiphart, chair of the Erikson Board of Trustees and principal and head of the Corporate Finance Department, William Blair and Co. “This campaign will make it possible for Erikson to build on its successes and develop regional and national initiatives that benefit children and families.”
Erikson faculty, staff, and students plan to move in to the new campus just before fall semester begins in August 2008. Gensler is the architect for the facility; Interior Construction Group is the general contractor building out Erikson’s space within the building.
About Erikson Institute
As the nation’s only graduate school to focus exclusively on child development from birth to age eight, Erikson Institute is an independent institution of higher education that prepares child development professionals for leadership through its academic programs, applied research and community involvement. Now in its 41st year, Erikson Institute advances the ability of educators, practitioners, researchers and decision-makers to improve the lives of children and their families.