Donors pledge $500,000 for Carthage College’s diversity and equity efforts

Carthage College's campus in Kenosha.

Carthage College has received more than $500,000 in pledges from donors to support the school’s diversity and equity initiatives.

The gifts include $412,000 for intercultural programs as part of the college’s anti-racism plan issued last year. That plan includes the goals of closing the equity gap in graduation rates; expanding resources for diversity, equity and inclusion; and integrating the legacy of race and racism in the United States throughout Carthage curriculum.

Carthage announced its fundraising progress Monday during a Martin Luther King Day celebration.

“The theme for our Dr. King celebration, ‘Moving from Spirit to Action,’ reflects Carthage’s determination to clear the educational obstacles that institutionalized inequities have placed in front of too many students,” said president John Swallow. “Our march toward equity is as essential as it is ambitious, and this strong philanthropic support demonstrates a community-wide commitment to attain those goals.”

In recent months, the college joined a national initiative, called Moon Shot for Equity, to eliminate racial graduation gaps by 2030. Milwaukee Area Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, UW-Parkside and Carthage are partnering on the initiative.

The college also recently opened an Intercultural Center for Equity, Advocacy and Engagement that serves as a safe space for students to gather and a hub for inclusive campus programming.

The school has also recently received $90,000 from donors to designate for scholarships for students of color.

In the past two years since the school’s Wiggan-Kenniebrew Black Alumni Network formed, donors have committed more than $400,000 toward financial aid and experiential learning.

Major donors this fiscal year have included:

  • LeAnn Pedersen Pope and Clyde Smith McGregor, $260,000. Pedersen Pope, a retired Chicago attorney and 1979 Carthage graduate, serves as board chair for Opportunity International and assists with Chicago CRED. McGregor is a longtime investment officer.
  • Patrick and Kim Anderson, $100,000. A 1985 alumnus of the college, Patrick Anderson is a defense attorney in Virginia. His wife, Kim, is the first person of color to serve as executive director of the National Education Association. They are the parents of a Carthage student.
  • Alan and Sally Mills, $100,000. Alan Mills, a Carthage trustee and 1979 graduate, is an Indianapolis law partner. His wife, Sally, is a retired K-12 educator.
  • Phil and Diane Slocum, $25,000. Retired Chicago Board Options Exchange executive Phil Slocum and his wife, Diane, a Presbyterian pastor, are both Carthage alumni.
  • Two local ELCA congregations, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Milwaukee and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Brookfield, also made undisclosed significant scholarship contributions, Carthage said.

“I am proud of the role our team has played in supporting the equity and inclusion initiatives of the college,” said Thomas Kline, vice president for institutional advancement. “To match the passion of our donors with the greatest needs of the college and our students is deeply rewarding.”

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.

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