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Winter 2012 (February 22, 2012)

The Case for Creativity

February 22, 2012

Weitz Center hallway artThe Weitz Center for Creativity is Carleton’s response to evidence that students and faculty members communicate, learn, and live differently in the 21st century: an age that demands innovation across all disciplines. The facility positions Carleton at the forefront of educating the next generation of bright young students in visual literacy and interdisciplinary thinking.

Carleton seeks financial support for the building’s construction. We also are creating an endowment to ensure that the building’s annual operating costs do not adversely impact the College’s operating budget and are not passed on to future students in the form of tuition increases. Inside Carleton asked trustee David Diamond ’80, chair of the Weitz Center Fundraising Committee, to explain the ongoing funding needs of the building. 

What is the Weitz Center Fundraising Committee’s charge?

Our decision to build the Weitz Center was part of Carleton’s Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections campaign, which raised $300.4 million. Our fundraising target for the Weitz Center is $45 million. We have raised $42 million to date in commitments and our hope is that all alumni and friends of the College have the opportunity to contribute to this exciting building project. 

The Weitz Center is up and running. What other giving opportunities are available?

We need to make an important addition to Carleton’s endowment, so that things we do to pay for the building—either on the capital or the operating side—don’t in any way impede Carleton’s budget process or take away from other funding priorities. Endowing the operating costs of the building is a smart thing to do, as it provides maximum budget flexibility going forward.  

What’s exciting about the opportunity to be a part of funding the Weitz Center?

It’s a rare project that allows us to address Carleton’s past, present, and future all in one building. The Weitz Center resolves the past issue of having subpar facilities in some of our arts departments, and that’s very important for a college of Carleton’s standing. In the present, the center stands alone among national liberal arts colleges with state-of-the-art facilities for interdisciplinary learning. It gives our students the tools and technology needed to embrace and increase the momentum of interdisciplinary learning. The Weitz Center is providing the labs and spaces and infrastructure we need to teach communication, both in visual and textual form. It’s exciting to think of the College’s future as a leader in the evolving area of visual literacy as part of how students learn and communicate.