Carson-Newman receives $2.5 million gift from Bonner Foundation
Carson-Newman Bonner student Randall Nored (left) works with area children through BOOST, an after school program through C-N’s Bonner Center.
Carson-Newman College’s Bonner Program was recently selected to receive a $2.5 million endowment gift from The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation. The announcement stems from an ongoing partnership between C-N and the Princeton, New Jersey-based foundation that dates back to 1991.
The gift provides a two-part endowment covering both student scholarships and operational expenses of the program.
“Carson-Newman College’s mission and vision have been aligned with those of the Bonner Foundation for the last 20 years as together we have sought to provide students an “access to education and opportunity to serve,”” said Robert Hackett, president of the Bonner Foundation. “For this reason, we are happy and proud that this endowment gift will guarantee that Bonner Scholars will continue to be a telling presence in Jefferson City and in communities across the nation and around the world.”
Carson-Newman President Randall O’Brien says the announcement speaks to the C-N Bonner Program’s quality of work in providing students an education and service opportunities. “We are delighted to receive such a gift,” said O’Brien. “Such an endorsement by the Bonner Foundation serves as confirmation of Carson-Newman’s commitment to preparing students to be world-wide servant leaders.”
O’Brien also championed the work of past Bonner Center co-directors Drs. Larry Osborne and Beth Vanlandingham as well as past coordinator Matt Bryant Cheney. “We have been birthed and brought to this point in our association with the Bonner Foundation by legendary servant-leaders,” said O’Brien. “We cannot overstate their inspirational and transformational leadership in Carson-Newman’s service ethos. And, of course, we are proud of the tireless work of our Bonner Center Director Dr. Nicole Saylor and her fine staff, along with the support of our campus community in helping to make this a reality,” he said. “They have done a splendid job of carrying out the missions of Carson-Newman and the Bonner Foundation in seamless fashion.”
Since its establishment, the Bonner Scholars Program has provided students who have significant financial need a way to earn an education through community involvement and service. With Bonner Foundation support, Bonner students contribute ten hours of service a week during the school year and participate in a full-time, community service summer internship. Students participate in a rigorous four-year student developmental model that offers opportunity for personal transformation and professional growth. Students are expected to make significant commitments to grow as individuals, work collectively as a group, and to have a meaningful and lasting impact in the communities where they serve. Since 1991, Carson-Newman Bonner students have contributed well over 330,000 hours of service to the community.
Carson-Newman is one of 24 campuses nationwide to have endowed Bonner Scholars Programs. Carson-Newman and Maryville College are the only two institutions in East Tennessee to have programs endowed.