HomepageNewsAlumni Gift Establishes New Fund to Boost Innovative Ideas

Alumni Gift Establishes New Fund to Boost Innovative Ideas

The Mark ’85 and Lisa ’83 Hinkel President’s Innovation Fund will support the work of the College Innovation Council, which seeds new projects that have been formulated by members of the college community.

When innovating, no idea is too small.

In 2022, Ursinus President Robyn Hannigan established the College Innovation Council (CIC) to encourage faculty and staff to collaborate on new programs and initiatives that could support the college’s strategic framework.

Seven new projects were established in a matter of months.

To build on that momentum—and thanks to the generosity of two Ursinus alumni—a new fund will allow Hannigan to further support the work of the CIC and the projects it shepherds. The Mark ’85 and Lisa ’83 Hinkel President’s Innovation Fund earmarks $50,000 to seed new initiatives at the discretion of the president. It is part of a $110,000 commitment from the Hinkels with $60,000 supporting the Ursinus Fund.

“Our campus community is at its best when it collaborates on interdisciplinary projects that have a significant impact on our students and the surrounding community. I’m inspired by the enthusiasm of our faculty, staff, and students to work together on brand-new programs by their own design—innovations that will propel the college forward—and I’m grateful that this gift from Mark and Lisa Hinkel will make it possible for more of those ideas to come to life,” Hannigan said.

For the Hinkels, longtime supporters of the college, philanthropy has enabled them to open doors to an Ursinus education for all students. More recently, they have been inspired to support innovative efforts demonstrated by President Hannigan’s leadership, which are now spearheaded—in part—by the College Innovation Council.

CIC was initially funded through the President’s Priorities Fund, which offers Hannigan resources to pursue her strategic vision. It solicits transformational ideas from the campus community that directly advance the goals of one or more of the three pillars of the college’s strategic framework: Student Success, One Ursinus, and External Engagement. Successful proposals should also have the ability to increase revenue and/or recruit, retain, or graduate more students.

This new infusion of funding from the Hinkels will enable the CIC to further grow and evolve to have even greater impact. New proposals are being accepted by the CIC though February 9, 2024. For information, visit https://ursinus.edu/CIC.

“We are extremely grateful to Mark and Lisa Hinkel for understanding the immense impact that philanthropy can have on the success of Ursinus College,” said Michelle Yurko, Ursinus vice president for advancement and interim vice president for finance and administration. “Through their generosity, the campus community is emboldened to think bigger, bolder, and creatively in ways that propel the college forward as a trailblazer in liberal arts education.”

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