LEAKED: Potential donors scoff at college’s requests for cash, citing liberal bias and rising tuition

  • Higher education relies heavily on donations from alumni.
  • Campus Reform obtained correspondence between St. Olaf College alumni and the school.
  • Many alumni appear hesitant to donate given the school’s apparent liberal bias.

While attempting to solicit donations, St. Olaf College in Minnesota received several messages from alumni who are discontent with their alma mater’s ideological bent and rising tuition costs, bringing the college more money to spend on “nonsense.”

With alumni donations accounting for billions of the total money colleges and universities across the country receive annually, schools are highly dependent on alumni satisfaction for funding. St. Olaf is no exception and has been reaching out to alumni recently as part of its “All in for the Hill” initiative to raise $200 million by July 2020.

"If Olaf wants any money at all from me they need to give conservatives a fair voice."   

However, photographs obtained by Campus Reform of correspondence between fundraisers and potential alumni donors show that some former St. Olaf students are hesitant to pledge their support in light of concerns around the college exhibiting left-leaning tendencies, among other factors. 

When asked for a donation, one former student responded “no way man. If Olaf wants any money at all from me they need to give conservatives a fair voice.”

[RELATED: St. Olaf speaker bashes Trump, ‘Islamophobia, Inc.’]

Another alumnus condemned the school’s shift in philosophy before vowing not to donate. 

“Unfortunately, St. Olaf has taken a philosophical turn for the worse,” the alumnus said, “so I doubt I will be supporting the institution any time soon.”

“I will donate to st olaf [sic] when you stop raising your tuition exponentially every year and wasting it on nonsense,” another alumnus told fundraisers, perhaps referencing the school’s new $1 million “Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion,” or a myriad of other social justice programs at the college.

[RELATED:  EXCLUSIVE: In campus speech, fired CNN commentator advocates 'dismantling' of nation states, 'abolition' of prisons]

Another prospective alumni donor responded to St. Olaf’s request for money by sharing how she’s “tried to email just about every office on campus in the last year to start a conversation about education on campus,” to no avail. “[I] don’t know why I’d give back to a place that obviously doesn't care,” she concluded. 

These disgruntled alumni who now refuse to donate are not alone in their disdain for St. Olaf. 

Conservatives have been sounding off online against the college for years. As one Yelp reviewer put it, “if you are a conservative or voted for Trump, expect to be violently threatened by your peers and flunked by your teachers.... teachers will say violence against Trump supporters is OK. If you agree with that, then this is the school for you.”

The school’s own student newspaper even reported more than two years ago that conservatives are often harassed and violently targeted on campus, causing many right-leaning students to leave St. Olaf.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @KyleHooten2



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Kyle Hooten
Kyle Hooten | Minnesota Campus Correspondent

Kyle M. Hooten is a Minnesota Campus Correspondent and reports on liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. He attends St. Olaf College where he studies Political Science and History. Additionally, he serves as Secretary for Minnesota College Republicans and Director of Recruitment for St. Olaf Turning Point.

20 Articles by Kyle Hooten