The Columbia College community advanced the lives of students nationwide on Thursday, March 14, by raising more than $303,000 in support of the college’s sixth annual Giving Day.

Thanks to alumni and friends, the college raised the highest total in the history of the initiative.

The celebration encourages people to make participatory gifts that are put toward the institution’s most immediate priorities within the coming year.

“This wave of generosity from Cougars across the country empowers our students of today to become the leaders of tomorrow,” says Columbia College President Dr. David Russell. “Together, we are forging a bright future for our institution, and I am grateful to each person who has joined in the momentum. Giving Day 2024 was a clear demonstration of the ‘We Are CC’ spirit.”

The donations help the college strengthen academic and student programming, attract top-tier faculty, provide scholarships, bolster athletics and benefit learners nationwide.

Alumni donors ranged from the Christian College Class of 1953 to graduates in the Columbia College Class of 2023, spanning 70 years of Cougar family members.

The success of the event was due in part to a group of generous alumni and friends whose leadership giving inspired the college community to donate. This group included:

  • The Estate of Nancy Baggott ’76 ’79
  • Lynne Stuver Baker ’64
  • Barbara Bilger ’62
  • H. Jane Blackman, M.D., ’64
  • John Dillingham
  • The Estate of Dottie ’53 and Joseph Garrain
  • George Hulett Hon. ’19
  • The Estate of 15th President Dr. Donald Ruthenberg Hon. ’95

Many donors contributed $1,000 or more to the Columbia College Fund to join the Cornerstone Club. This group is committed to providing leadership-level support to the college on an annual basis. Gifts to the CC Fund support students and the Columbia College experience in the year they are given. 

“Our goal entering this Giving Day was to raise $173,000 in recognition of Columbia College’s 173 years of advancing students’ lives,” says Suzanne Rothwell, vice president for Advancement. “Not only did our incredible CC community reach that level, we crushed the goal thanks to participation from many longtime and new contributors alike.”

Are you still looking to make an impact with your annual gift? Our students appreciate your support! Visit

If you have questions or would like to become more involved, please contact the Office of Development at or call (573) 875-7563.