Alumnus pledges $5 million record gift to Gettysburg College



John Jaeger, a 1965 graduate and trustee of Gettysburg College, has pledged the largest gift to the general endowment in the school's history.

As a tribute to Jaeger’s most recent commitment to Gettysburg College, his generous past financial support of the Center for Athletics, Recreation and Fitness, his leadership in the construction of the Center, and his consistent efforts and advocacy in support of Gettysburg College, the Board of Trustees voted to name the Center in his honor. A naming ceremony is expected in early May.

"Gettysburg College is important to me for both the education I received and for helping to formulate my character,” Jaeger said. “I feel a strong sense of duty and am grateful that I can reciprocate for all that Gettysburg gave me. Perhaps the best way to provide a Gettysburg College education to future generations is by helping the College endowment grow." Investment income from the unrestricted endowment is an important source of support for College operations.

"John's gift is extraordinary and we are extremely grateful to him," said College President Janet Morgan Riggs, a 1977 graduate. "He has strengthened the College through his leadership and exemplifies what we mean when we talk about ‘Gettysburg Great.’ Increasing our endowment is one of our most pressing needs, and John’s gift is a wonderful step in the right direction.”

Jaeger’s $5 million commitment comes within the first year of the leadership phase of a comprehensive campaign for Gettysburg College. The priorities of the campaign are: to increase scholarship support for qualified students who could not otherwise attend Gettysburg; to create new faculty positions and enhance professional development opportunities for current faculty; to support engaging learning experiences for Gettysburg students, including opportunities for research, public service, study abroad, internships, and leadership development; to renovate Plank Gym as a way of enhancing the College’s focus on the preparation of students for successful professional and civic lives in a global society; and to bring the Gettysburg Fund to a higher level of sustaining annual support.

James Weaver '64 (left) and John Jaeger '65 (right) at the Climbing Wall in the Center

James Weaver '64 (left) and John Jaeger '65 (right) at the Climbing Wall in the Center

"John Jaeger's very generous gift comes at a time when the campaign is gaining strong momentum," said Trustee and Campaign Chair Bob Joseph '69. It is indicative of the significant support among alumni for both our campaign priorities and our long-term aspirations for the College. Gettysburg is on the move and I am hopeful that John's generosity will inspire others to make significant gifts that will benefit today's students, as well as those to come. However, for this campaign to be truly successful, we will need gifts of every size from all of our constituencies."

Jaeger hopes his gift will inspire others to make their own “gifts of a lifetime, “ he said. “Everyone who attended Gettysburg benefitted from the education and character development the College provided. Each of us owes the College for some part of our personal and professional successes. It is my hope that others will think about what Gettysburg means to them and make the most generous gift they can.”

Jaeger, who majored in business administration, is owner and president of the DANAC Corporation in Bethesda, Md., one of the most highly regarded real estate service firms in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area. He and Karen Ivers Jaeger live in Potomac, Md.

“John has brought great distinction to Gettysburg through his accomplishments and service on the Board of Trustees,” said Board Chair Robert Duelks ’77. “It has been my personal privilege to serve with him, to benefit from his insights, and to enjoy his humor. John was not only a key benefactor but also a stalwart advocate behind the Center for Athletics, Recreation and Fitness, leading the charge and working tirelessly through its design and construction. His commitment and genuine concern for Gettysburg College are admirable and matched by few.”

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Sue Baldwin-Way, director of development communications

Posted: Tue, 28 Feb 2012

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