Thanks to the Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation, Inc. of Salisbury, Catawba College will receive a $1 million grant, payable over five years, for use in the College's capital improvement program. Catawba's grant headed the list of 63 others with a value of $1,271,663 approved during the Foundation's spring 2006 grant cycle.
College trustees authorized administrators to proceed with the ambitious plan for making capital improvements on campus at their February 2006 meeting. Wachovia Bank agreed to finance $15 million in bonds to underwrite the projects and in conjunction with that College officials launched a multi-million dollar capital campaign to support the effort. The Robertson Foundation grant will also be used for capital improvements.
Abernethy Residence Hall on campus is slated for demolition in early September and construction begins on five new residence halls which will replace it. Shortly following that demolition and subsequent construction, work will begin on campus to renovate Hoke Hall as the new hub for information technology, to renovate the Corriher-Linn-Black Library as the campus academic center, and to expand and renovate the Cannon Student Center to create more on-campus gathering places for students.
The Robertson Foundation was charted in 1997 with an initial gift of $15 million from Julian H. Robertson, Jr., a successful Wall Street investor and noted philanthropist, who named the charitable organization in memory of his parents. Over its eight years of operation, the Foundation’s assets have increased by an additional $14 million, giving the foundation an operating investment base of $19 million. Grants awarded to more than 100 different agencies, organizations and institutions now total $14.3 million. The Foundation’s Continuing Support Grant program includes five agencies and organizations that receive continuing support on an annual basis – the Community Care Clinic, Communities in Schools, Habitat for Humanity, Rowan Helping Ministries, and the United Way’s Day of Caring program.
Several Catawba College trustees serve on the Robertson Foundation Board, including James F. Hurley III, foundation chairman; James G. Whitton, vice-chairman and assistant secretary; and Fred Stanback, Jr. Julian Robertson, Jr. is also a member of Catawba’s Board of Trustees.