Efroymson Family Fund Awards $1 Million Challenge Grant to Columbia College Chicago

Alumnus and trustee Jeremy Efroymson inspires alumni, trustees, and friends of Columbia to contribute to college’s student-centered initiatives through matching donations

CHICAGO (Jan. 17, 2018)—Columbia College Chicago has received a $1 million challenge grant from the Efroymson Family Fund in support of the college’s initiatives centered around student success. The challenge grant is intended to engage and inspire alumni, trustees, and friends of the college to match the $1 million donation.

The grant is a giving challenge for two initiatives: matching dollar for dollar the first $500,000 in gifts toward the Student Center and the first $500,000 in gifts from Columbia alumni to the program of their choice. The Student Center, the first of its kind in Columbia’s 127-year history which is slated to open in 2019, will serve as a creative incubator, hub, and collaborative space for Columbia’s students.

“We are very grateful to the Efroymson Family Fund for their generous and imaginatively structured gift, which will have a positive impact on our students for years to come,” said Dr. Kwang-Wu Kim, president and CEO. “The Efroymson Family Fund exemplifies and inspires philanthropic leadership in support of all that we are seeking to accomplish at Columbia College Chicago.”

By issuing a challenge grant, the Efroymson Family Fund invites Columbia’s alumni network, trustees, and friends to match the donation. Jeremy Efroymson, Vice President of the Efroymson Family Fund, recommended the challenge grant to catalyze Columbia’s fundraising efforts. Efroymson, an alumnus (MFA ’98) who joined Columbia’s Board of Trustees in 2013, is currently serving on the Student Center ad hoc committee, among others. As an artist, philanthropist, art activist, and advocate for numerous causes, Efroymson has been instrumental in advising and supporting organizations that contribute to arts and culture.

“When I attended Columbia, there wasn’t a dedicated gathering space for students,” said Efroymson. “The new Center will be transformational for the students and the campus. As an alumnus and trustee, I feel it’s important to support the institution and the future of Columbia.”

The Student Center broke ground in November 2017, and will be a 114,000 square-foot hub, serving as a welcoming space for students to create and collaborate on new ideas. The building strategically repositions campus properties around a centralized student space, emphasizing the college’s commitment to students, and its special connection with the South Loop and the city. Columbia continues to seek funding for the project.

For more information on the Student Center, visit: colum.edu/studentcenter.

For more information on giving to Columbia College Chicago, visit: colum.edu/giving.

For more information on the Efroymson Family Fund, visit: efroymsonfamilyfund.org.




Columbia College Chicago is a private, nonprofit college offering a distinctive curriculum that blends creative and media arts, liberal arts and business for nearly 7,500 students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Dedicated to academic excellence and long-term career success, Columbia College Chicago creates a dynamic, challenging, and collaborative space for students who experience the world through a creative lens. For more information, visit: colum.edu.

The Efroymson Family Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, continues a long legacy of charitable commitment by the Efroymson family in central Indiana. The Efroymson Family Fund was established in 1998 by Dan and Lori Efroymson to promote the viability of communities and to date has awarded more than $100 million in grants in central Indiana and beyond. For more information about the Efroymson Family Fund, visit: efroymsonfamilyfund.org.


Cara Yi Birch


Anjali Julka