The Advancement Office endlessly works on smaller, targeted projects to help keep Coe’s campus and liberal arts experience vibrant. Maintaining a residential environment where learning can occur requires the administration to identify, analyze, and implement certain capital improvements. Simultaneously, scholarships, academic chairs, and other endowment projects are consistently promoted to permanently sustain Coe's reputation for excellence.
Currently, the College is working on the following special projects:
Moray L. Eby Memorial Fieldhouse, built in 1930 in honor of longtime Coe professor of physical education and coach Moray Eby, serves as the headquarters for Kohawk athletics. The current gymnasium floor and bleachers, which date back to the 1970s, were replaced in the summer of 2007. Combined with new lighting and other amenities, the space has effectively become a new performance arena for Coe basketball, wrestling and volleyball. The gym also continues to be used for varsity athletic practices, intramural athletics, and physical education classes.
Clark Field is named in honor of the late K. Raymond Clark, a 1930 alumnus of Coe College who became the college’s preeminent benefactor, with total contributions to Coe in excess of $33.9 million. Since its original construction in 1989, the field has consisted of conventional natural grass. Since its installation in 2007, football games and soccer matches have been held on the new field, as well as athletic practices as needed.
FieldTurf, an all-weather surface used by over 40 NCAA teams, more than two dozen NFL franchises, and several major league baseball teams, is comprised of artificial grass and recycled tires. Unlike the old synthetic surfaces that were hard and similar to carpet, FieldTurf is among the new artificial surfaces which look and feel more like the traditional grass fields. FieldTurf uses a ground plastic and rubber base to mimic natural soil, and special plastic shafts are used to simulate soft blades of grass and eliminate rug burn. The result is a playing field that helps to maximize player performance and reduce injuries.
In addition, FieldTurf is environmentally-friendly and eliminates the maintenance costs of mowing and chemical treatment associated with natural grass fields. While first-generation artificial-turf fields became rough and deteriorated with age, FieldTurf has a long life with a surface that remains stable over time. FieldTurf is extremely durable and holds up well to ultraviolet light and all seasons of harsh Midwestern weather.
Goal: A total of $1.3 million to support the Eby Fieldhouse renovation and Clark Field FieldTurf installation projects.
Despite constant financial challenges, the college has long provided a quality of education comparable to academic institutions with endowments many times the size of Coe’s. Now, thanks in large measure to the Clark gift, Coe’s financial situation is the most stable it has been in 155 years, and the moment is at hand for the college to realize its vision of achieving a higher level of academic excellence. To do this, Coe must strengthen its endowment. It is through a large and growing endowment that the programs offered by premier institutions are maintained and elaborated.
Simply put, endowment gifts to Coe become investments for the college that are held in perpetuity, with the money earned from the investments used to support various programs. A strong endowment provides recurring income that can benefit all aspects of the college, sustaining and supporting every effort it undertakes. Such income is a permanent source of funding that enriches teaching, learning and research. Endowed funds allow the college to hire and retain an outstanding faculty, provide essential scholarship support for students, and expand research, travel and foreign study opportunities for all members of the academic community. Endowment earnings provide essential funding for the programs offered by academic departments, as well as for abiding needs such as the acquisition of the most recent generation of scientific instrumentation and information technology. A large and growing endowment is the engine that powers an institution, and building such an endowment at Coe is the most important goal of this campaign.
By definition, a college's endowment is permanent; it endures in perpetuity, existing across decades and centuries. For this reason, gifts to the endowment offer donors the unique and important benefit of being able to touch the lives of students and faculty yet unborn. Further, an endowment gift honors publicly the name of the donor—or that of a family member, friend, or beloved professor. A gift to the endowment identifies the donor as someone who has entered into partnership with the college to prepare succeeding generations of students to embrace the future.
To elevate Coe to a new level of academic excellence requires broad endowment support for a wide variety of programs and initiatives, ranging from gifts to enhance the academic program, to those that more directly benefit individual students and faculty. Opportunities for supporting the endowment include, but are not limited to:
- Off Campus Study Scholarships
- Endowed Scholarship Funds
- Undergraduate Research
- Educational Equipment and Instrumentation
- Wilderness Field Station
- Thursday Forum
- Academic Departments
- Endowed Faculty Professorships
- Faculty Development Program
- Support and Development
- Faculty Research
- Distinguished Visitors
To be a premier liberal arts college requires first-rate facilities. Largely as the result of the success of the previous One by One Campaign for Coe, many of Coe’s facilities have been renovated, replaced, or expanded. A notable exception is Peterson Hall of Science.
Peterson Hall, which houses the departments of biology, chemistry, and physics, was built in the 1960s. The current challenges with the building are both numerous and serious. As a 40-year-old building, Peterson is showing signs of age. Yet this presents an opportunity to improve teaching and research at the college, impacting future generations of students and helping Coe to maintain its lead in science and technology.
The problem is two fold. First, enrollments have increased significantly at Coe in recent years, and the rate of growth in the sciences has surpassed that of the college as a whole. There is a compelling need for more laboratory and classroom space. Second, the nature of science education has changed dramatically in the last 40 years. The way material is presented in classrooms and in laboratories—the basic way that faculty and students interact—has changed. Different kinds of spaces are needed; they must be configured, shaped and outfitted with instrumentation to accommodate current practice. The dramatic growth of research conducted by students during the summer has been an exciting development that nevertheless has generated stress on the building.
In response to these challenges, most of the better schools in Iowa and the Midwest, and nearly all of the ACM colleges, have built new science facilities or undertaken major renovations of their science halls within the past decade. The lack of physical space and the configurations of laboratories, offices, and classrooms in Peterson Hall stand as significant barriers to Coe’s ability to make the leap to the next level of academic quality as an institution. As well, the situation hampers the college’s ability to recruit high-caliber science students.
Furthermore, the need for a modern, state-of-the-art science facility is all the greater because of the sheer quality of Coe’s science programs and faculty. Science education at Coe has earned national recognition for excellence. The contrast between the quality of the faculty and the aging building in which they teach is striking. The extremely impressive record of the scientists in gaining grant support, in scholarly publication, and in placing our students each year in the very best graduate programs in the country demonstrates that science is one of the peaks of excellence at Coe College.
To maintain and build on this hallmark, Coe envisions the expansion, reconfiguration, and renovation of Peterson Hall. Given the national reputation of science at Coe, the college has the opportunity to grow its world-class science programs. To achieve this vision, Coe must create a building that provides space and facilities essential for teaching and research occurring at the frontiers of contemporary science.
The Peterson Hall project will entail the construction of a 32,000-square-foot addition. Further, it will involve reconfiguring space throughout the existing building, creating classrooms and laboratories that are flexible and able to adapt to large and small group work. The success of the faculty’s efforts has resulted in a growing number of state-of-the-art instruments, all of which require dedicated space. Finally, the facility must be remodeled, with all new mechanicals and all new lighting so that it is inviting and welcoming. The building must aid and reinforce, not impede, the educational efforts of the faculty who teach in it. With the combination of a faculty of enviable quality and a modern facility, the possibilities for achievement will be endless.
One of the most striking deficiencies in Coe’s campus is the lack of a sufficient expanse of playing fields for athletics and intramurals. This is a long-standing issue for the college, given its urban setting. While Coe in the last 10 to 15 years has been able to improve the natatorium, build a modern fitness center, and create competition fields for baseball, softball and football, the college does not have a soccer field—nor adequate practice fields for the various varsity sports, or for intramural competition.
At Coe, the ideal is for athletics and academics go hand-in-hand to produce a full undergraduate experience. Athletes participate in varsity sports not for scholarships (which are not given for athletics), but for the love of the game. The Coe community believes that, kept in proper balance, athletics reinforce the lessons learned in the classrooms and laboratories. This ideal held as a fundamental tenet within the liberal arts tradition, and one embraced by the best colleges in the nation. As testament to the value of athletics, most of the better schools in the region and most schools in the ACM have added significantly to their athletic facilities during the past decade. To give life to this ideal at Coe, significant upgrades must occur.
Toward this end, the Defining Moment Campaign seeks funding to acquire property around the perimeter of the existing campus and convert it to green space for athletics and intramurals. Specifically, a competition soccer field will be created along with practice fields for the other sports. All of the space will be available for use by intramural teams throughout the year.
The creation of such space will have the added benefit of beautifying the campus and creating a more attractive setting for current and prospective students. Further, and of even greater importance, the acquisition of additional space will give the college flexibility in considering future construction projects, should they prove necessary. Although it is difficult to envision the specific needs for expansion Coe may experience in the decades to come, it is clear any expansion that requires additional space will take place along the northeastern boundaries of the present East Campus. Thus, the acquisition of the properties needed today in practice and playing fields can serve the college well in the longer term.
Inspired by an $800,000 grant from the Joseph Bradley Foundation, a matching gift from the Veterans Memorial Commission, and widespread support from music lovers nation-wide, Coe will begin restoration of this historic instrument in 2011. When completed, the Skinner organ will be one of the finest instruments of its kind, and will host musicians from around the globe. The restoration will take several years, and you can find periodic updates here once work commences.
For more information on these special projects, contact us:
Kelly Allen, CFRE