A couple who are part-time residents of the Deep Creek Lake area has established a $1 million estate gift to the Garrett College Foundation to be used in connection with either the college’s performing arts center or a future student center.
“This is an incredibly generous gift by a couple who understand Garrett College’s mission of service to our students and our community, and who want to be part of fulfilling that mission,” said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president.
The couple’s non-binding estate commitment will not be realized until after the passing of both donors. It is similar in form to the estate gift executed by the late Daniel E. Offutt III, which was realized last fall with a $2 million gift from the Offutt Trust. The income generated by that gift will be used for STEM-related scholarships and equipment.
“This latest gift has the potential to dramatically improve the college’s ability to serve our students and our community,” said Cherie Krug, executive director of the Garrett College Foundation.
Garrett College is currently in the final design development stages for the Community Education and Performing Arts Center. The college and the Garrett County commissioners recently signed a memorandum of understanding with regard to operational funding of the center.
The Garrett Lakes Arts Festival, Garrett County Board of Education and Garrett County Arts Council have all signed partnership agreements as codicils to the memorandum.
“We expect to release a construction request for proposals in November,” Midcap said. “Construction should start in late winter, and the center should open in the spring of 2022.”
Garrett College and the Garrett College Foundation are currently in the planning stages of a capital campaign — with estate gifts as one strategy within the plan — to build an endowment dedicated to operational funding for the performing arts center.
“We want to encourage others who appreciate the lake and Garrett County to support the college, given the opportunities and benefits it provides to the community and beyond,” said one of the anonymous donors.
“Estate gifts can play a key role in building long-term financial flexibility for small, rural community colleges,” Midcap added. “This latest gift, from a pair of generous anonymous donors, can truly be transformational for the college many years down the road.”
A student center is likely to be one of the top two projects after the CEPAC when Garrett College revises its master plan next year. That student center would be a renovation project that would include updating of the GC cafeteria and other student spaces.