Story posted October 15, 1997
BRUNSWICK, Maine -- International investor Stanley F. Druckenmiller of New York City has increased a previously announced $14 million pledge to Bowdoin College to a minimum of $30 million.
The commitment by Druckenmiller, a member of the class of 1975 and Bowdoin's Board of Trustees, is the largest in Bowdoin's 203-year history, the largest ever from an individual to any single enterprise in Maine, and among the largest ever to an American liberal arts college. It will be provided through a fund managed for the College by Druckenmiller, who has personally guaranteed a $30 million minimum level for the fund.
Druckenmiller's original pledge to Bowdoin of $14 million was announced in March 1994 and at the time was also characterized as "a minimum commitment." The College had already begun to receive funds from Druckenmiller at the time of the announcement. The entire $30 million in unrestricted funds will be paid to the College by December 31 of this year. These unrestricted funds have bolstered Bowdoin's financial position and have permitted the College to acquire funding through the financial markets for several construction and renovation projects. The latest of these is the $14.5 million Stanley F. Druckenmiller Hall, a state-of-the-art science building named for Druckenmiller's grandfather and namesake which was dedicated in a public ceremony today. Druckenmiller Hall is the linchpin of Bowdoin's new science complex which includes the newly renovated Cleaveland Hall and the Hatch Science Library which opened in 1991.
A planned $9 million renovation of the 103-year-old Searles Science Building will be funded directly with Druckenmiller funds and is expected to begin next spring. Once completed in 1999, Searles will provide refurbished quarters for the physics department and will house the departments of computer science and mathematics which are currently located in another campus building.
"What Stan Druckenmiller has done for his college is extraordinary both in its magnitude and because he has permitted us to direct these funds to the core needs of the College," said Bowdoin College President Robert H. Edwards. "Everyone on campus today knows the impact of Stan's generosity and many future generations of students will be his beneficiaries. All of Bowdoin is profoundly grateful for Stan's devotion to and care for this institution."
Druckenmiller's $30 million pledge to Bowdoin College is the fourth largest ever to a liberal arts college in the United States. The others include a $55 million charitable trust established in 1995 by J. Bulow Campbell for Berry College (Ga.); $40 million in cash and stock from Liliore Green Rains to Pomona College (Calif.) in 1986; and $37 million in cash and stock from the Dewitt Wallace/Spelman College Fund to Spelman College (Ga.) in 1992 (Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 29, 1997).
The increased pledge is only the latest of several made to Bowdoin by Druckenmiller, managing director at Soros Fund Management in New York. In December 1993 a $1.5 million gift from Druckenmiller was used to establish the William D. Shipman Professor of Economics in honor of William D. Shipman, Bowdoin's Adams-Catlin Professor of Economics Emeritus. In 1991 Druckenmiller established the Stanley F. Druckenmiller Professor of Asian Culture with a gift of $1 million. He also contributed $100,000 toward the construction of the David Saul Smith Union which opened in January 1995.
Druckenmiller joined Soros Fund Management in 1989. Soros manages several funds totaling over $20 billion which deal primarily in equities, currencies, and bonds worldwide. Druckenmiller is also chairman and owner of Duquesne Capital Management, a Pittsburgh-based firm he founded in 1981.
A native of Philadelphia, Druckenmiller was a dean's list student while at Bowdoin. He graduated magna cum laude with a double major in economics and English, and was co-recipient of the 1975 Noyes Political Economy Prize. Intending to pursue an academic career, he enrolled in a three- year Ph.D. program in economics at the University of Michigan, but discontinued his studies to become an analyst at Pittsburgh National Bank, a position he held until he founded Duquesne Capital Management in 1981. Druckenmiller was elected to Bowdoin's Board of Overseers in 1991 and to the Board of Trustees in 1996. He is chair of the Trustee's Investment Committee and serves on the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee.
The pledge from Druckenmiller is being counted toward the $113.25 million goal of Bowdoin's five-year capital campaign that will end next June. According to Vice President for Development and College Relations William A. Torrey, the money from Druckenmiller puts the total amount raised by Bowdoin at $108 million to date.
"Stan Druckenmiller's generosity has enabled Bowdoin to achieve our campaign goal to dramatically update our science facilities," said Torrey. "From now until next June 30, when we will officially close the New Century Campaign for Bowdoin, the College will concentrate on achieving the same success for financial aid, faculty chairs, and our arts facilities."
Prior to the Druckenmiller pledge, the largest gift ever received by Bowdoin was a bequest of $9.4 million in 1991 from the estate of Irene Stones Pickard of Delaware, the widow of John Coleman Pickard of the Class of 1922. That gift eventually totaled more than $11 million. In 1989 the College received $7 million from the estate of J. Houghton McLellan Jr. of Melrose, Mass., a member of the Class of 1920.