Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School received $1 million gift by Edna Bennett Pierce. THe money will be used to provide operational stability as the seminary implements its new business model.
Edna Bennett Pierce is a widow of C. Eugene Bennett, a former Trustee and Trustee Emeritus in 1995 of Crozer Theological Seminary, which became part of Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1970. According to the seminary’s officials, this is the third major donation Mrs. Pierce has made to CRCDS in the past four years.
“We extend our most sincere thanks to Mrs. Pierce for her wonderful donation. She has demonstrated her faith in the future of this institution, and now we can devote our energies to making sure that Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School continues to offer the best theological education to be found anywhere in the country,” President G. Thomas Halbrook said.
Founded in 1817, the seminary produced theological leaders in the nation including Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., Francis Bellamy, author of the Pledge of Allegiance, Howard Thurman, an African American writer, and Marjorie Matthews, first woman bishop in the United Methodist Church.
When the school was hampered by a budget deficit, the Board of Trustees implemented a strategic plan to establish goals for financial stability and growth by the year 2009. The goals include strengthening relations with alumni, donors and the denominations connected to the school, enhancing current facilities and infrastructure and lease unused space to compatible organizations, and increasing annual giving and build the school’s endowment and planned giving programs.
Board Chair Dr. Nancy Abram Gaess said, “We believe that these goals will lead to the fulfillment of our vision in which CRCDS is known as the finest theological school in the country preparing leaders for ministry.”