Theme and Summary

Foundation leaders will help college and university presidents understand why foundations choose the areas of support that they do and why they choose to fund certain projects as means toward the larger goals they hope to serve. The Foundation Conversation also helps foundation leaders understand how creative and effective many of the lesser-known small colleges are in meeting the very goals that the foundations embrace. The foundation leaders will address such questions as: Has the economic situation changed funding priorities? Has it changed the criteria for selecting grants to support? What would you predict about the future of funding for the liberal arts and for private colleges and universities. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with foundation leaders in small groups.


This meeting provides an occasion for senior-level foundation officers to guide a candid conversation with CIC member college and university presidents from across the nation. In 2011 the Conversation will include plenary presentations by national and regional foundation executives and roundtable discussions over lunch with foundation officers. There also will be generous amounts of time for discussion during each session and informal networking opportunities between sessions.

The first speaker will be Hilary Pennington, Director of Education, Postsecondary Success, and Special Initiatives in the United States Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The next plenary session will feature a presentation by Rip Rapson, President and CEO of The Kresge Foundation. The third session of the day will feature James M. Gentile, President of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. A final session will showcase the work of—and potential partnerships with—the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation led by its new Executive Director, Lawrence Kutner. Foundation executives, including William F.L. Moses, Program Director of The Kresge Foundation, and Richard F. McKeon, Program Director of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, will lead small group roundtable discussions during the buffet luncheon.