AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – An anonymous $5-million donation to Hampshire College will be used to support the school’s “Change in the Making” fundraising campaign.

This is a second gift of $5-million made to the school. The money will go toward funding the “Ken Burns Initiative to Transform Higher Education,” a learning program that organizes undergraduate education around the most urgent challenges of our time, instead of the traditional structures of majors and disciplines.

The program is a new way of teaching and learning focused on helping students to seek out meaningful work that can make a positive impact in communities and around the world. The funding will support building courses around urgent challenges, the Semester Unbound program, Learning Collaboratives, and Project Teams.

“This is yet another historic moment for Hampshire College,” said President Ed Wingenbach, who joined the College in 2019 and is leading its transformation. “We’re reinventing the liberal arts for today’s students by designing our curriculum around globally relevant questions in need of solutions and empowering students to become agents of momentous change. This donor— who has no previous affiliation with the College recognizes that higher education needs transformation and that Hampshire is best suited to lead that disruption. We are enormously grateful.”

“I’m humbled that such a generous philanthropist chose to make this extraordinary gift to my alma
mater in my honor,” said Campaign Co-Chair Ken Burns 71F. “I know Hampshire is transformative
because I experienced it firsthand. I saw how the originality of practices implemented at the College
reverberated through higher education. Fifty years later, our nation needs fresh thinking in higher
education, and Hampshire is poised to deliver on that opportunity.”

Change in the Making: A Campaign for Hampshire has raised more than $33 million toward its $60 million goal since it began in January 2019.