Wartburg College has received a $1 million challenge grant to jumpstart the final push for the planned renovation of Clinton Hall.

Ray and Judy McCaskey, Wartburg alumni from Chicago, established the McCaskey Challenge as part of the college’s comprehensive $75 million Transforming Tomorrow campaign. All gifts and pledges made to the Clinton project through May 31 will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $1 million.

“We’ve always felt one of the best things in life is to be part of something that’s bigger than you, something that is important and long-lasting,” Ray McCaskey said. “When we looked at Wartburg specifically, and the ability to sustain and provide educational opportunities, it just sort of fit into wanting to share our good fortune and to be part of something that was really important to the rest of the world.”

Ray, the retired CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma and a former chair of the Wartburg College Board of Regents, and Judy, a native of Mason City who taught for 40 years in the Chicago area, previously provided the college with its largest-ever gift commitment: an $11.5 million contribution that provides scholarship support to students from Chicago.

“This gift ties back to the students we have at Wartburg on scholarship. We want to make going to Wartburg a transformative experience in their lives,” Judy McCaskey said. “All Wartburg students deserve to live in updated rooms, and it’s great to see we can be part of making their whole Wartburg experience a little better.”

The $8 million Clinton Hall project includes major interior updates and a new addition, including:

·      Updated student rooms, with new furniture, wall finishes and flooring, as well as modern bathroom facilities.

·      A modern classroom, tutoring and collaborative study spaces, a computer lab and a faculty apartment.

·      Energy-efficient upgrades, including a new roof, windows, plumbing and electrical systems and heating, as well as air conditioning throughout.

·      Social and gaming lounges and a small movie theater.

·      An accessible entrance and elevator that will make Clinton Hall compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Ray and Judy have proven themselves to be tireless supporters of the Wartburg College mission, and I’m so thankful for this challenge grant,” said President Darrel Colson. “I hope this generous gift will encourage the entire Wartburg community to help us transform Clinton Hall.”

This gift kicks off the Clinton Hall Countdown, the final fundraising push for the project. Completing the McCaskey Challenge by May 31 will enable the renovations to Clinton Hall to begin this spring and be completed by the start of classes in the fall.

Those interested in participating in the McCaskey Challenge can call 866-219-9115, email development@wartburg.edu or donate at www.wartburg.edu/clinton.