A campaign to re-envision the future of Goddard College

The Together For Goddard campaign is an effort to realize future for the College as a thriving and financially durable institution, as a leader in higher education innovation, and to solidify Goddard’s essential and unique contribution to the academic landscape. Launched in January 2020, the campaign contributed to a positive financial turnaround of the College that secured continued accreditation with the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Now we seek to raise our $4 million campaign goal, the largest fundraising effort in the College’s history, by 2022 to move into a new era of financial strength and academic innovation. 

As President Bernard Bull said, “We will use this vote of confidence from NECHE as a launchpad for new academic innovations and to return to the spirit of experimentation that Goddard was first founded on. We believe our best experiments are ahead of us and are inspired by Goddard’s future.”

Join us. Let’s explore what we can make possible together.

Goddard’s Future

Goddard College has empowered students through a learner-centered model that allows them to direct and design their own course of study since 1938. Goddard has been a historic leader of progressive education in the US, and has a rich legacy of producing some of the finest artists, activists, social entrepreneurs, leaders, educators, psychologists, and academic minds that have shaped the culture of the 20th and 21st Century. 

We offer a compelling alternative to the traditional college model – a learner-driven, low-residency, experiential education that serves a post-traditional student base, and that is more affordable and accessible than almost any other college of our caliber. Now Goddard is looking to the future, inspired by a vision to revitalize our mission-minded experimentation and explore new learning partnerships and opportunities. We want the College to thrive and Goddard to rise to the next level of positive impact in the world. 

To accomplish this, we are seeking partners who share this vision and want to join in creating a better, more hopeful, humane, and inspiring education system.

We invite you to participate in the next phase of Goddard College. 

make a gift to the campaign

Together4Goddard Campaign Toolkit

Campaign Case for Support

Campaign Slide Deck

Sample Appeal Letter

Social Media Guide

Announcement from President Bernard Bull

Donor Referral Form

Goddard Swag
“Goddard gave me the freedom to study everything from Celtic mythology to socialist theory to Jungian analysis. But more importantly, Goddard taught me to think critically across disciplines. Goddard gave me both the skills and the confidence to be a lifelong, independent learner. I would not be the writer, therapist, father, or citizen I am today without my Goddard education.”
Individualized BA Alum

Campaign Prioritities

Financial Strength and Stability

The primary goal of our campaign is to build a solid financial foundation for the college that secures a future for our distinctly learner-driven educational community. Our focus is to build cash reserves for the college that will allow Goddard to transcend the current challenges facing higher education and create a thriving future.
Academic Partnerships

Goddard is committed to creating a local and global network of learning partners. Additional funding will allow Goddard to seek out collaborative partnerships with like-minded institutions, strengthening our academic programs, exploring new learning opportunities and offerings, and building community connections.
Experiments and New Initiatives

With support from the campaign, Goddard will revitalize and strengthen experimental academic initiatives and foster new experiments that respond to societal needs and enact Goddard’s values in the world. These efforts will enable Goddard to once again become a visionary and leader for higher education.

Village of Learning

Goddard will explore creative use of the historic Plainfield, VT campus. Our vision is for the campus to be a vibrant community of engaging learning events, continuing education, intensive residencies, and collaboration with organizations that align with the Goddard College mission and values.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A key priority of the campaign is to amplify our collective work toward building a diverse, responsive, and equitable culture; as well as our pursuit of radical hospitality and inclusion – specifically for marginalized communities and voices.

Increased Scholarship Funding

By increasing student scholarships we can reduce financial barriers for students and increase educational access, while also celebrating and supporting an array of students from different backgrounds and with distinct academic interests.

Our Story

Founded in 1938 on the belief that student voice and choice should be at the center of their education, Goddard College was one of the first colleges in the country to allow students to entirely direct and design their own course of study. Our learner-centered model empowers students to create an education experience that is deeply personal, transformative and relevant. 

Our students are people of all ages who seek to address change in the world while undertaking their studies. Goddard has a long tradition of serving post-traditional learners – from single-parent learners, to first-generation college students, to creatives who combine multiple disciplines in their fields. The College’s acclaimed low-residency model provides the flexibility and cost-effectiveness to best serve these students, making their education relevant and accessible.

Goddard College has been a historic leader of progressive education in the US, pioneering many new models of higher education on the frontlines of academic experimentation and innovation.  Goddard was the national pioneer of the first Low-Residency Program in 1963, the Design Build Program in 1969, and the Single Parent Program in 1986. In addition, Goddard offered many experimental academic initiatives and partnerships, such as the Goddard-Cambridge Program for Social Change and the Institute for Social Ecology.

Goddard has produced some of the finest artists, activists, social entrepreneurs, educators, and academic minds that have shaped the culture of the 20th and 21st Century, including author and director David Mamet, actor William H. Macy, jazz musician Archie Shepp, Bread & Puppet Theater, former White House correspondent Ellen Ratner, members of the rock band Phish, and activist and gold medal Olympian Tommie Smith.

“In an era when the doors of academic opportunity were still not fully open to women, Goddard College helped me advance my education and career as an educator and conservation leader. I am grateful for the wonderful mentors and graduate program that allowed me to keep my job and design and pursue a unique and rewarding course of study.” -Individualized MA Alum

Our Challenge

As a largely tuition dependent institution without cash reserves or a significant endowment for most of its history, Goddard is vulnerable to enrollment fluctuations. The national declining enrollment trends for many small colleges – especially in New England – has hit the College very hard.

Since being appointed President in November 2018, Dr. Bernard Bull has implemented a plan to build a solid financial foundation for the College by reducing expenses, increasing cash reserves and growing the endowment. The goal of financial stability is paramount to the College’s success and significant gains have been made over the past year to stabilize the institution and position it for growth. 

Our best chance to jumpstart a solid financial foundation for the College is to build a cash reserve that is equal to 6 months of our operating budget, or $4 million. Once the necessary 6-months of cash reserves have been built, additional funds will be used to grow the endowment, with a multi-year goal of building an endowment of $15 million.

These efforts have made a significant difference and the plan forward is a sustainable one. Currently, the College is operating within a balanced budget, however Goddard remains vulnerable to future enrollment fluctuations and unforeseen expenses. For this reason, we are seeking to secure additional resources from our alumni, partners, and friends of the College.

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