Jefferson College Foundation representatives announced they received the single largest donation in the history of the philanthropic organization, thanks to a gift of more than $1 million from businessman David G. Ault.
Ault, who is the president and owner of Eureka-based Fox Run Golf Club, Fox Run Builders, and Eureka Springs, Inc., signed a $500,000 bequest, and gifted a new, fully furnished 4,400 square foot eco-friendly home with accompanying golf club membership at a total combined value in excess of $1 million. The donation signifies Ault's commitment to higher education in the local community and St. Louis region during a period of declining state financial support, according to a news release from the foundation.
“I decided that it was the right time to do this, and by spreading the word, perhaps others will follow,” said Ault in the news release regarding the $1 million-plus donation. “Jefferson College is a valuable asset to our community and its excellence is demonstrated in the thousands of graduates that live and work throughout the region. I’m proud to support the college and the good things it does to prepare students for a better quality of life.”
“Jefferson College and the Foundation owe an extreme measure of gratitude to David for his generosity and loyalty,” said College President Raymond Cummiskey. “It’s also important to thank those individuals whose participation and personal contact were vital in making this extraordinary moment possible. David’s unselfish act will provide a lasting legacy for others to follow in support of the college, and, ultimately, our community.”
Ault’s decision to provide the $1 million gift follows communication and involvement with current and past Jefferson College presidents and current/past foundation presidents and board members, spearheaded by Foundation Interim Executive Director Tom Burke over the past three years.
“My relationship with David began with an invitation to lunch in 2005, at which time he expressed an interest in making a gift to the Foundation, continued as he so generously donated use of the house for last year's Monticello Society reception, and culminated with his recent multi-faceted gift which will impact the fulfillment of the Foundation’s mission today, tomorrow, and for years to come,” Burke said. “I can’t thank him enough.”
The energy-efficient, luxury home will be used by the college for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors and prospects in order to raise funds that will help students meet their goals and have a higher quality of life. Specific uses will include faculty/staff receptions focused on cultivation of prospects for targeted gifts; stewardship activities such as the annual Monticello Society recognition ceremony; cultivation lunches, dinners, and parties for individuals or small groups; cultivation of individual prospects via golf; business and industry prospect activities; Alumni and Friends Association receptions; and selected Foundation and college-approved meetings, according to the news release.
The college also may choose to hold its annual Viking Classic Scholarship Golf Tournament for the Athletics Department at Fox Run beginning in 2013.
“The Foundation is to be commended for securing this monumental gift on behalf of Jefferson College and its students,” said Board of Trustees President Krystal Hargis. “It's very exciting, and it really touches me to see the generosity and commitment of Mr. Ault.”
The Foundation provides opportunity and access to higher education through scholarships and financial support. During the extended period of economic uncertainty, the organization has assumed a major role in meeting the needs of the college and its students. The commitment of donors—individuals, alumni, organizations and businesses alike—has taken on a greater role of importance more than ever before.
“David’s gift represents a new energy and course of direction as established by past-president Dennis Kehm and the Foundation Board,” added current Foundation president Michael Walsh. “His generosity sets a standard for others who may be in a position to support the college through the donation of property or similar bequests.”
The Jefferson College Foundation was formed in 1991 to support the growth and development of the college in ways that are beneficial to students, faculty, staff, and campus facilities. Members of the Foundation board seek to build relationships within our community—connecting a desire for making a positive difference in the lives of others through learning and cultural enrichment to giving opportunities at Jefferson College.
The organization fulfills its mission by actively encouraging private gifts of cash as well as stocks and bonds, real and personal property, insurance, and in-kind donations from individuals, alumni, businesses, associations, and service organizations. Funds are also raised through special events.
Jefferson College has four campuses: the main campus at 1000 Viking Drive in Hillsboro; Jefferson College Anold, 1687 Missouri State Road; Jefferson College Northwest, 6471 Cedar Hill Road in Cedar Hill; and Jefferson College Imperial, 4400 Jeffco Boulevard in Arnold.