Campaign Priority: A First-Class Faculty

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Gettysburg students deserve no less than a superb faculty whose highest priority is helping them clarify and achieve their goals.

"I teach for free; they pay me to grade." — Chris Fee, Professor of English and former Johnson Chair

In the past 10 years, the number of faculty members at Gettysburg has increased by about 20 percent. Many of these are at the beginning of their careers and hold great promise as teachers, scholars, and artists. Yet without the resources to develop courses that reflect the most recent and relevant research and creative activity in their fields, the quality of their teaching will be compromised.

Greatness attracts more greatness. Endowed professorships have enabled the College to recognize some of its most distinguished faculty members and provide them what they need to educate at the highest levels. But to retain such faculty—and to attract and develop more like them—we must do more and on a greater scale. With support for more endowed faculty positions and professional development opportunities, Gettysburg will enhance its reputation as a college whose students benefit from the finest teaching available.

Truly Excellent Faculty

Gettysburg cannot expect to attract or retain the best professors if they can find similar positions elsewhere offering higher salaries. Currently, the College lags slightly behind peer institutions in what it is able to pay its faculty members. If this gap is allowed to widen, the quality of a Gettysburg education could be in danger of eroding. Furthermore, if Gettysburg cannot provide rewards and incentives for exemplary performance, the motivations for excellence are at risk of diminishing, and with them the quality of teaching. With greater endowment for faculty support, the College has an opportunity to sustain and nourish its talented faculty members—and, in doing so, to make Gettysburg even more attractive to new professors who seek a community of the highest caliber.

Scholarly Development and Curricular Development

In every discipline, the leading edge of scholarship and creative activity continually advances. To remain current, professors must attend conferences, communicate with their peers, and devote time to their own research and scholarship, which itself helps to push their fields forward. The benefit to students of this process is clear: When professors are excited about and engaged with new thinking and discovery, they communicate this enthusiasm and knowledge in the classroom. Students are both inspired and, at graduation, familiar with the latest issues and developments in their chosen fields. As a result, they are better prepared to enter the academic conversation as graduate students or the workforce as employees. For faculty, however, keeping abreast of the latest developments— and translating them into creative teaching and curricular innovation—is time-consuming and expensive. Gettysburg needs the support of visionary donors who realize the importance of taking the College’s curriculum and teaching into the future.

The Power of an Endowed Professorship

Every endowed professorship enhances the quality of teaching at Gettysburg. Awarded to highly deserving faculty members, who hold the professorship for a specified period, each endowment may have its own terms. Some explicitly provide for development of original teaching methods; some may fund creation of a new course or set aside funds for connecting off-campus learning opportunities to existing courses; others incorporate provisions for mentoring younger faculty members—a proven way of handing the torch of excellence across generations of Gettysburg faculty. Endowed professorships may also support research and creative activity, as well as travel to conferences. Depending on the amount of the gift, an endowed chair or professorship can provide for all of the above and more.

What you can do:

If you are a Gettysburgian, you probably remember a professor who inspired you and in some way changed your life. Whether you are a Gettysburgian or the parent of a current student, by contributing to the endowment for faculty support, you can establish the conditions for life-changing teaching for a new generation of faculty and students. You may choose to:

  • Endow a named faculty chair, thereby creating a new position that transforms an entire department.
  • Establish an endowed named professorship, which adds resources to an existing faculty position.
  • Endow a professional growth fund, which enables faculty to develop their teaching, research, or creative activity.
  • Create an endowment for faculty innovation, which can update and energize teaching methods and materials.
  • Make an annual gift in honor of a professor who positively affected your life.

Learn about campaign naming opportunities for faculty support.

For more information about how to support faculty excellence at Gettysburg, please contact Ashlyn W. Sowell, Campaign Director, at 717-337-6503 or