Haverford College Gets $10 Million Challenge Gift from Jaharis Foundation

The Board of Managers of Haverford College together with President Stephen G. Emerson ’74 announced a leadership gift challenge in the amount of $10 million from The Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc. for construction of a new student dormitory.

“This comes at a critical moment in the history of Haverford College,” said Emerson in announcing the gift at Friday’s Board of Managers meeting. “We are grateful to the Jaharis Family Foundation for appreciating the vision expressed in our Campus Master Plan, which is the physical blueprint for ensuring that our students continue to enjoy an undergraduate experience long noted for both its academic excellence and commitment to social values. Nearly all of our 1,200 students live on campus, and dorm life is the forge in which our students first test – and strengthen – their sense of what it means to be part of a community, both here and, when they graduate, in the world at large.”

The ‘Jaharis Leadership Challenge’ has two major elements. It is fundamentally a multi-year pledge of $10 million from the Jaharis Family Foundation to build the first new dormitory at Haverford since 1968. The dorm, to be located on Orchard Green adjacent to the Whitehead Student Center, will be named in honor of Tom Tritton, Haverford’s 12th president and Steve Emerson’s immediate predecessor.

Secondly, in accordance with the Agreement with the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Challenge must leverage other gifts in support of the College. Indeed, the gift will only be paid if and when the College secures one or more additional major gift(s) totaling $10 million in support of one of the College’s key fundraising priorities: academic enrichment; financial aid; or buildings identified by the Campus Master Plan.

The gift challenge emerged in conversations with Steven M. Jaharis, M.D., who graduated Haverford in 1982, is a family medical practitioner in Chicago and sits on the Jaharis Family Foundation’s Board of Directors. He is also a member of Haverford’s Board of Managers, and has long supported the College philanthropically through programs such as one that enables pre-med students to provide medical care to underserved populations. Steven Jaharis says that his participation in the Campus Master Plan Steering Committee enabled him to see the importance of new dormitory space as a vital next step for the College.

“I am quite grateful to my family, who are the directors of the Jaharis family Foundation, Inc., for authorizing this gift to a very special college,” said Dr. Jaharis. “It is our hope that the challenge will inspire others to contribute to this worthy institution.”

Terms of the Challenge require the College to secure written pledges totaling $10 million from other benefactors by December 31, 2012.

“Investment in a new dorm is literally the leading edge of the entire master plan,” said Emerson, pointing out that it will create social space in other dorms that have seen living rooms become bedrooms as the College has slowly expanded over the years. It will also allow the College to increase the number of freshmen living at the core of the campus by moving them up from the Haverford College Apartments, located toward the south end of campus. “This is a critical gift from someone who understands and feels in their heart the ambitions of the College. We could not be more pleased by this gift, particularly given Steve’s longstanding support for programs that resonate with Haverford’s core Quaker values of service for the common good. You could say this is a ‘bricks and mortar’ expression of the same philanthropic intent.”

“This gift is remarkable for another reason,” added Michael Kiefer, Haverford’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “At a time of great economic uncertainty, it sends a signal. People are still giving to those organizations and institutions that matter to them, and for Steve Jaharis the promise of Haverford’s mission is enduring. Steve and his family know that the strength and resilience of Haverford, like all of higher education, depends on philanthropic support. “

“This is a thrilling day for the Haverford family,” concluded Emerson, “and we thank the Jaharis Family Foundation for making their support quite visible for our upcoming comprehensive campaign at this important first stage of the process.”


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