The Colgate Scene
January 2004

Benton commits $10 million to Colgate
Largest single gift in university history

Trustee Dan Benton '80 (shown here at the 2003 senior class luncheon in May) has committed $10 million to the university, the largest single gift in Colgate history. [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

Trustee Dan Benton '80 has committed $10 million to his alma mater, the largest single gift in the university's history. The gift is intended to help Colgate achieve its vision of becoming the nation's leading liberal arts university.

"This generous gift will be instrumental as we strengthen the bond between Colgate's liberal arts traditions and the skills and opportunities of a 21st-century curriculum, focused on increased connections between faculty members and students, local and global community building opportunities, and more hands-on research and creative opportunities," said President Rebecca Chopp. "Dan is an invaluable member of the Colgate community and, in many ways, embodies the heart and soul of a liberal arts education."

Benton is chairman and chief executive officer of Andor Capital Management, one of the largest hedge fund advisors in the world. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Colgate and earned his M.B.A. from Harvard.

A trustee since 2001, Benton is the youngest-ever member of the James B. Colgate Society, a group of alumni, parents and friends who have each given a million dollars or more to the university. In 2002, Benton issued a $1.5 million challenge to his fellow alumni to increase the alumni-giving rate from 47 percent to 54 percent. By the end of the year, a record 14,200 Colgate alumni -- 55 percent -- had given a financial gift to the university.

"In today's challenging world, we need critical thinkers who have a broad understanding of multiple disciplines and an appreciation for cultures other than their own.  These people study history, science, philosophy, and the arts -- the keystones of a liberal arts education,"  said Benton. "Colgate has the right combination of a solid academic program and a vision of reinventing the liberal arts to provide students with the skills they will need to become the leaders of tomorrow."

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