This past Friday Carleton College publicly launched a $400 million fundraising campaign which got a jump start from a single $50 million donation. That donation is the largest gift in the school’s history and among the largest for Minnesota private colleges, ever.

As impressive as that $50 million dollar donation is Carleton already has raised $315.7 million during the early stages of the campaign, including more than $100 million from members of its board of trustees. The college hopes to raise at least $85 million more by the time the campaign, which began July 1, 2015, ends in June 2021.

The man behind the large donation? Carleton alumni Wallace Weitz who is also the chairman of the college’s board of trustees. Weitz lives in Omaha, and is the founder of Weitz Investment Management and already has been a significant contributor to the college with the Weitz Center for Creativity bearing the family’s name.

The fundraising campaign which has been called the Every Carl for Carleton will help to pay for a new science building that’s under construction and an already completed addition to the Weitz Center for Creativity.

The $50 million donation easily stacks up against some of the largest donations made to Minnesota’s private colleges. Last year, Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter broke its own record with a $40 million donation from an alumni couple, and the University of St. Thomas received a $50 million gift for undergraduate student scholarships from a Minnesota philanthropy started by one of its alumni.

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