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Connections faculty and staff newsletter
 May 2009

Columbia College receives $500,000 lead gift from alumna

Columbia College receives $500,000 lead gift from alumna The gift from Mary Agnes McQuinn '54 and her husband boosts Columbia College science education to a new level

A $500,000 lead gift from Mary Agnes McQuinn, a 1954 graduate, and her husband, Al, will allow Columbia College to take science education to a new level. The gift was announced Saturday, April 25 at the Alumni Brunch during Reunion Weekend.

"I've been very impressed with the transition of Columbia College from the post-World War II school I attended to an institution that truly fills a niche in higher education," said McQuinn. "Al and I have chosen education as one of our priorities. We look for schools that meet our criteria of a sound ethics-based foundation — Columbia College meets this criteria. Its mission statement exemplifies our belief that a well-rounded education in a nurturing environment is important for students to excel."

The McQuinns are major supporters of science research, as further evidenced by their support of the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri–Columbia.

"We are indebted to Mary Agnes and Al for making this generous gift to Columbia College in support of the sciences," said Dr. Gerald Brouder, president of Columbia College. "As philanthropists with an interest in higher education, they know that it only takes one student to potentially change the world. The college’s investment in the sciences, along with the McQuinns' contribution, will ultimately reward society with better health and a higher quality of life. In my opinion, that shared investment promises the greatest rate of return in this ever-changing world."

The McQuinns have been devoted philanthropists to Columbia College. A $300,000 challenge gift announced in 2003 helped make the college's student commons a reality; a foyer in the Atkins-Holman Student Commons is named for the couple.