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Source: Taylor University

UPLAND, Ind.–Taylor University is putting on their largest fundraising effort in its 178 year history. It’s also one of the largest fundraising initiatives ever for a Christian college.

“So far we’ve raised $275 million toward that $500 million goal. The faculty and staff at Taylor has really united and produced record interest. We are going to welcome our largest incoming class in history this fall. It’s a great time to be at Taylor,” said Taylor University President Michael Lindsay.

Lindsay says the largest portion of the fundraising is going towards student scholarships.

“We’re working really hard to keep Taylor within the financial reach of deserving students. We announced the largest scholarship initiative effort in the history of a private institution in the state of Indiana. It’s a $40 million initiative and we’ve already raised $33 million toward that. We’re looking to raise even more. So we’re looking at ways to make Taylor even more affordable,” said Lindsay.

You might have also seen pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses that have escalated into tension and arrests. Lindsay says he has a pretty good idea of why those things do not happen at Taylor. With it being one of the oldest evangelical Christian universities in the United States, Lindsay says all of the students and teachers have a united interest.

“Along with that, we’ve announced a $75 million effort to try and secure public and private investment dollars to bless and encourage the community of Upland, where we’re located. That’s kind of a counter cultural move. A lot of universities are becoming insular and turning inward. In the process of that, they are becoming cesspools of conflict. That’s just not who Taylor is,” said Lindsay.

Then there’s challenge of getting students ready for a career after they graduate.

“We’ve got to do a much better job of higher education as an industry of helping people to see the kind of learning outside the classroom is really preparing students for a lifetime of leadership. Indiana needs to be a state that is a net positive recruiter. We retain the students we draw from out of state and we draw even more to become a part of this. Higher education can be an engine of growth in that. We’re excited about what the future holds,” said Lindsay.

Lindsay says they’ve started a program called “Good Work”, which takes on campus employment opportunities and combines them with professional development skills.

“So imagine a student who works in the business or finance office on campus and they develop the kind of professional skills that help them to become more marketable when they’re applying for jobs in accounting or finance. We’ve got to do a much better job in higher education of helping people to see that learning outside the classroom is preparing students for a lifetime of leadership. Taylor has really led the nation in some of those outcomes for a long time, but we’re really trying to move from excellence to imminence. I think that will transform Indiana for the better,” said Lindsay.

You can listen to the full interview with Lindsay.