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This and that: Carleton raises $300 million-plus; U of M lands NIH grant to prevent childhood obesity

In 2004, tiny Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., began a six-year campaign to raise $300 million by June 30, 2010. Despite the recession and annihilation of the stock market in 2008, Carleton reported Thursday that it had raised nearly $300.4 million in gifts and pledges from 23,148 donors. Consider that the college has 1,900 students at present.

According to a news release, members of Carleton’s Board of Trustees donated one-third of the total and 76 percent of alumni contributed. The college’s largest gift, $25 million, came from campaign co-chairs Barbara and Wallace “Wally” Weitz, who graduated in 1970 and sent three children to Carleton. Wally Weitz owns an investment business in Omaha, Neb.

“This campaign will not only benefit Carleton students today but future generations of Carleton students as well,” the Weitzes said in the release. “It’s an astonishing accomplishment during one of the most challenging economic times in our nation’s history.”

So far, the campaign has enabled Carleton to hire 15 new full-time tenure-track faculty; build two new residence halls and start construction on the new Arts Union facility, and boost the financial aid budget to $28.2 million from $19.6 million in 2004. More

A research project led by Jayne Fulkerson, associate professor in the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, has won a $3.2 million National Institutes of Health grant to track a family-oriented, community-based obesity-prevention effort.   

The program, called “Healthy Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment (HOME) Plus,” aims to prevent obesity in 8- to 12-year-olds, according to a news release from the School of Nursing. HOME Plus will recruit 160 families from before- and after-school programs. Six months after a pilot program called HOME ended, researchers found that families reported healthier eating habits and an increase in children helping with meal preparation.

In HOME Plus, according to the release, “families will learn how to make their home environment more healthful. They will also learn how to create nutritious meals and snacks that all members can enjoy together. And they will be encouraged to reduce children’s screen time (television viewing, computer game playing).” Details.

In other news from the U, the Institute of Technology has officially changed its name to the College of Science and Engineering. “The Institute of Technology name (with its acronym IT) has become increasingly problematic in terms of securing financial support and recognition for critical academic programs within our college,” said Dean Steven L. Crouch in a news release. “Today, IT has come to mean information technology to virtually everyone. In addition, few people outside the university have an understanding of the difference between the Institute of Technology and various research institutes at the university that do not have academic degree programs.”

St. Catherine University President Andrea Lee has appointed Thomas J. Rooney as vice president for finance and administration and CFO of the Catholic women’s school, according to a news release. This appointment appears to be Rooney’s first administration position at a college. His career includes stints at Polaris, G&K Services, Fingerhut and Wells Fargo. Rooney, who has an MBA in finance from the University of St. Thomas, replaces Tammy McGee. McGee left St. Kate’s in March to become vice president and CFO at Augsburg College.

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