“This is the largest and most challenging goal we’ve had to meet so far,” says President Darron Collins. “The first year, the bar was set at 250 gifts in 24 hours. We thought that would be a stretch! But we think we can get to 750 this year. The Annual Fund is critical, and with this all-out push, we will ensure we meet our obligations and fulfill our mission.”

Given COA’s generous financial aid, small size, and many unique offerings, tuition income is not sufficient to meet the college’s operating expenses. The Annual Fund covers the gap, bringing much needed support to all programs, financial aid, enhancements to the academic curriculum, student life, faculty salaries, facility maintenance, and community outreach. This year’s Annual Fund goal is $1,025,000. To date, just over $600,000 has been raised; the fiscal year ends on June 30, 2015.

“This has become one of our favorite days of the year for us,” says Lynn Boulger, dean of institutional advancement. “The phone rings constantly, students donate their lunch money, parents ask their friends and co-workers to call or give online, and alumni walk in for a cup of coffee and everyone pitches in. Many people share their memories and stories with us. It’s great to hear from so many people caught up in the excitement.”

To participate, go online www.coa.edu/24hourchallenge, call 207-801-5620 or 207-801-5622, or send a check dated February 24, 2015 to COA 24 Hour Challenge / Development Office / 105 Eden St. / Bar Harbor, ME 04609.

Says Boulger, “This is a great day to give and get your donation matched. Any gift, no matter the size, counts in this one-day challenge.”

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit www.coa.edu. 

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