The largest gift in the college's 134-year history will provide $4 million for two endowed chairs at the newly renamed Robert P. Stiller School of Business, $2 million for an endowment fund to develop programs based on positive psychology management theory and practice for regional organizations, and $4 million for capital investments in Perry Hall and a new Center for Communications and Creative Media. The donation will be counted toward the college's $25 million Vision Innovation Passion Campaign.
The gift includes a $2 million challenge grant to encourage two thousand Champlain College alumni to donate to the college by June 30, 2013, according to Tere Gade, the college's senior director of advancement and campaign. "Our long-term goal is to build institutional capacity by increasing alumni support through annual and planned giving — a goal that aligns closely with the Stiller Family [Foundation]'s philanthropic values," said Gade.
Stiller is the founder of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, where a key aspect of management practice is the use of Appreciative Inquiry techniques. "Appreciative inquiry is a whole-system, strength-based approach to change that has been applied in thousands of organizations worldwide," said Champlain College president David Finney. "AI works with the whole system in an organization, engaging people [at] all levels of an organization as well as its stakeholder community and is particularly effective for organizations facing rapid change or growth....[The Stillers' gift] will create a competitive advantage for Champlain's graduates and for Vermont's businesses and entrepreneurs."