Elsewhere online
March 06, 2015

Donor: Mass. College's President Doomed $50 Million Pledge

A donor who gave $60 million to Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., told the Boston Business Journal he had planned to nearly double his  record 2007 gift but backed off after becoming disillusioned with the school's administration.

Dale E. Fowler, a property developer in California, said he told Gordon’s trustees that he would add $50 million to the bequest, but then the Christian liberal-arts college "got a new president who we have had serious misgivings about." Under Michael Lindsay, who was hired as president of the college after Mr. Fowler made his initial $60 million pledge, Gordon has drawn headlines for banning homosexual activity by faculty, staff, and students and planning to sell off part of a historic collection of rare books left to the school in the 1920s.

Mr. Fowler, who in 2013 gave $55 million to the law school of Chapman University in Southern California, said his frustration with Gordon is unrelated to the recent controversies. Kurt Keilhacker, chairman of the Massachusetts college's board, said he and other college officials were not aware of Mr. Fowler had planned to increase his pledge.