At the close of Blackburn’s first and last comprehensive capital campaign, a very large gift was received from the estate of the late Enid Jane Pegram of Jacksonville, Illinois. One million dollars of this unrestricted estate gift was authorized by the College’s Board of Trustees to create the first fully endowed professorship. The faculty unanimously approved this measure in 2002 in order to establish the Pegram Chair in Fine Arts. Since its inception, this chair has been held by Robert Huber, chairman of the Blackburn Art Department.
This gift has given the College a new level of financial stability and flexibility. The security of endowed chairs or professorships can ensure that Blackburn continues to attract and retain excellent faculty members. Alumni have routinely expressed a level of admiration for one of their former professors and interest in establishing an endowed professorship in that individual’s name.
Similar to endowed scholarships, this type of gift has long-term impact. In addition to providing Blackburn more financial stability, it provides the institution a greater level of prestige in the selected discipline. Most importantly, it funds that professor’s salary in perpetuity. With an endowed chair, the position is funded with revenue from the endowment, ensuring that the salary and related expenses are covered each year.
Other positions—whether faculty or staff—have the availability to be endowed by a larger gift or a collection of gifts from donors.