25th Anniversary Campaign

No matter where we are in the world, we are all connected and share a common responsibility for the future of humanity and our planet. We know that the urgent challenges of our time—poverty, climate change, food insecurity, political instability—require leaders who can develop lasting solutions. In the 1980s a group of visionaries from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and from the academic, political and business sectors of Costa Rica asked themselves: What if these leaders could be developed from within the world’s most vulnerable communities? Twenty-five years after welcoming our first class of students, EARTH University has proven the power and potential of that vision. Education is the key.

 
As we approach our 25th anniversary we are excited to announce a $90 million comprehensive campaign for EARTH. Your gift to EARTH through our 25th Anniversary Campaign is an investment in the power of the individual. It transforms lives. And it ensures that the bold, deliberate work of EARTH will continue around the globe.
>> Please Make a Gift. Today <<

By completing their EARTH education our students are opening opportunities not just for themselves, but also for their families, their countries, and the countless people they will impact during their lifetime.

By completing their EARTH education our students are opening opportunities not just for themselves, but also for their families, their countries, and the countless people they will impact during their lifetime.

OUR PROGRESS

Our time frame:

5

years

Our goal:

$90

million

Our progress:

$71.2

million

*updated quarterly

 

Campaign priorities

Our first comprehensive campaign, timed to coincide with our 25th Anniversary, will position EARTH for the growth and innovation set forth in its recent visioning and strategic planning process. All gifts will go, directly or indirectly, to support EARTH students, the majority of whom would never be able to afford a college education otherwise.

 
Your gift to EARTH and to our students—whether you choose to direct it toward scholarships ($24 million), program support ($14 million), unrestricted funds ($10 million) or endowment ($30 million)— will advance our efforts to increase our global impact.

Supporting students

Often described by visitors as an example of what the world could be, our tropical campus unites people from some 35 countries with diverse cultural, economic and educational backgrounds with a common mission—to affect positive change.

Often described by visitors as an example of what the world could be, our tropical campus unites people from some 35 countries with diverse cultural, economic and educational backgrounds with a common mission—to affect positive change.

“Each and every student I have spoken with over the past 12 years has told me that a powerful lesson they learned at EARTH is that our globe consists of multiple nations and communities, each with their own values and cultures, and that if we and our environment are to survive and prosper, we must learn how to work together,”

remarks Marlene. “It is not an easy task but these students are a positive start toward that end. They and EARTH University’s staff and supporters make it seem more possible than ever.”Marlene Fluharty is the Executive Director of the Americana Foundation and had first heard about EARTH from the late Dr. Norman Brown, a founder of EARTH University and former President of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. It took her only one day at EARTH to realize that here was a place that would indeed launch men and women who could change the world. She left Costa Rica completely committed to spreading the story of EARTH.


• Scholarship support, building toward “critical mass” in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa
• Enhanced academic advising capacity and wrap-around support services
• Innovative curriculum renewal
• State-of-the-art classroom technology, laboratories and equipment
• Expanded multicultural awareness resources
• Support for alumni projects worldwide

Supporting faculty

“After my first year here, I realized that here I was not a teacher, I was a facilitator, so I changed the way I taught…you go to a class to talk, to generate a dialogue. If the person feels part of the process, he or she will learn more. For example, if you make cheese with me instead of just hearing how it’s done by a professor, it’s harder for you to forget how it’s done. I also acknowledge that my students come from different countries (unlike my former homogenous students), and that each person learns in a different way. This is why at EARTH teaching is not a job, it is a vocation.”

In 2014, Food Processing Professor Yanine Chan celebrates her 20th anniversary working at EARTH. During her time with the University, she was able to complete her Ph.D. degree in Food Technology from the Université de Montpellier I, France thanks to EARTH’s sabbatical program.

“After my first year here, I realized that here I was not a teacher, I was a facilitator, so I changed the way I taught…you go to a class to talk, to generate a dialogue. If the person feels part of the process, he or she will learn more. For example, if you make cheese with me instead of just hearing how it’s done by a professor, it’s harder for you to forget how it’s done. I also acknowledge that my students come from different countries (unlike my former homogenous students), and that each person learns in a different way. This is why at EARTH teaching is not a job, it is a vocation.”


• Recruit and retain top-notch faculty and staff
• Competitive compensation
• Funds to attract increasingly diverse faculty candidates
• Ongoing professional development support
• Appropriate, adequate campus housing

Ensuring excellence across the curriculum


• Graduate and Certificate Programs
• EARTH-La Flor Campus
• Entrepreneurial Projects Program
• Community Development Program
• Admissions Program
• Experiential Learning
• Peri-Urban Module
• Integrated Organic Farm

Securing the essentials

“There was a lot of support for EARTH’s approach and a feeling in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that what EARTH was doing was relevant to Africa,”

“There was a lot of support for EARTH’s approach and a feeling in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that what EARTH was doing was relevant to Africa,”

explains Olav Kjorven, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Programme, who at the time of SEMCIT was the State Secretary for International Development for the Norwegian Government. He recently joined EARTH University’s Board of Directors. EARTH’s involvement in the development processes in Africa has evolved organically in the past 10 years following the Sustainability, Education and the Management of Change in the Tropics (SEMCIT) international seminars co-organized by EARTH University, the Norwegian Government and the Salzburg Seminar from 1999-2003. The Norwegian Government, which had already been supporting EARTH for several years with scholarships, asked EARTH leadership if they would consider having an African scholar at the school during the SEMCIT seminar program. Today, in addition to African students representing about 15 percent of our overall student body, EARTH is collaborating with African universities to exchange pedagogical and agricultural experiences, and is actively involved in the development of new educational institutions on the African continent.


• Daily operations to keep the lights on, computers humming and banana trains running
• Maintenance of two tropical agricultural campuses: roads, bridges, experienced staff
• Strong workforce integrating the local community
• Flexibility to respond to special project and partnership opportunities

FIVE REASONS TO GIVE

Today, we find our planet at a turning point, and EARTH’s mission to prepare leaders with ethical values to contribute to sustainable development and construct a prosperous and just society has never been more relevant. As we approach our 25th anniversary we also find our University at a turning point with opportunities to expand our impact so that more young people can develop the values and skills required to forge the path to global prosperity.

Your philanthropic support plays a crucial role in cultivating that future. Here’s why:

1. EARTH is a turning point for our students.

For 25 years we have sought out extraordinary youth from disadvantaged communities with an admissions and scholarship program intentionally designed to reach young people who otherwise might never have a chance at a college education. Once they are at EARTH we invest mightily in ensuring the success of each and every student, knowing that by completing their EARTH education they are opening opportunities not just for themselves, but also for their families, their countries, and the countless people they will impact during their lifetime.


2. EARTH is a place that transforms.


From the warm “saludo” expressed by the banana train operator to the sheep that maintain the lawns, when you enter EARTH’s campus you know something different is happening here. Often described by visitors as an example of what the world could be, our tropical campus unites people from some 35 countries with diverse cultural, economic and educational backgrounds with a common mission—to effect positive change. Students don’t just study business, they run a real company. They work and live in the rural communities surrounding EARTH’s two campuses. Through these and other experiences both on and off campus, formal and informal, students develop the mindset required to change the course of history.

3. EARTH graduates are changing the world.


Since our first class graduated in 1993, their numbers have grown to more than 1,800 alumni from 29 countries. Our impact studies show that nearly 90% return to their home countries. More than 60% work in the private sector, with one in five running a personal or family business, double the U.S. national average of business ownership among college graduates. They have generated more than 6,500 jobs—that’s nearly four jobs created by each graduate—and have improved working conditions and living standards for thousands more. In the careers they have built, from agriculture to renewable energies, they have become responsible stewards of the land and hubs of economic activity in their communities.

4. At 25 years old, EARTH is at a turning point.


From our increased ability to recruit deserving young men and women from more countries around the globe, to the addition of Master’s programs and the development of our La Flor campus, EARTH is at a pivotal point in its history. We have embarked on a curriculum revision to improve our model, we are digging deeper to better quantify the impact of our alumni, and we are hiring a bright and committed new generation of faculty to lead the future of EARTH. Now is the chance to be an integral part of that future.

5. You too can be an agent of change.


Your gift to EARTH is an investment in the power of the individual. Your gift transforms lives. And it ensures that the bold, deliberate work of EARTH will continue around the globe. Our campaign goal is to raise $90 million by December 31, 2015. We invite you to support EARTH. Read our campaign brochure to learn more about the lasting difference you can make.



READ OUR CAMPAIGN BROCHURE

“I never imagined that Reynaldo would go on to study at a university. For me, it’s a wonder, a miracle,”

“I never imagined that Reynaldo would go on to study at a university. For me, it’s a wonder, a miracle,”

reflects Marlene Contreras who left her native Colombia for the first time in her life to see her son, Jose Reynaldo, graduate from EARTH. For Marlene, who didn’t have the opportunity to finish elementary school, the difficulties and hard work she and her family faced were worth it when Reynaldo walked across the stage, diploma in hand. “As a mother, I want him to keep moving forward and preparing himself to be an even better and more important man.”
Upon graduating, Reynaldo already had a job waiting for him back home in Colombia at the Catatumba Rubber Company, where he also did his third year internship. There he is providing training and support to farmers who have transitioned from coca farming to African oil palm and rubber tree production. He believes that his work will make his region more secure, “If there isn’t any coca, there won’t be any war.”

  

CAMPAIGN STEERING COMMITTEE

Tim Solso,Chair

Indianapolis, IN, USA

Jose Zaglul, President

Guacimo, COSTA RICA

Marisa Brenninkmeyer

London, ENGLAND

John Bridgeland

Washington, D.C., USA

Alan Kelso

San Jose, COSTA RICA

Gustavo Manrique(’96)

Guayaquil, ECUADOR

Mark Ohrstrom

The Plains, VA, USA

Randi Yoder

Minneapolis, MN, USA