Contact Leadership Giving Director Moneer Greenbaum
Robert and Christine Stiller are no strangers to the power of innovation. As the founder of the Waterbury, Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Bob Stiller created a business known for its pioneering work environment and revolutionary focus on social responsibility. And in April, the couple's Stiller Family Foundation received the 2013 Most Outstanding Foundation Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, partly for its commitment to exploring new ways to take leadership roles in community affairs.
Both this vanguard spirit and the extraordinary generosity behind it are found in the Stillers' recent gift to Champlain College. The $10 million donation from the Stiller Family Foundation is the largest single gift in the College's history and accompanies the renaming of the Business division to the Robert P. Stiller School of Business. The gift also was transformational for the Vision Innovation Passion campaign.
"We have great faith in Champlain College. Our two sons, Christian and David, are alumni of the school, and their experiences at Champlain made us greatly appreciate its methods and practices," says Bob Stiller. "We want to help Champlain accomplish its goals and vision to become the finest small, professionally and globally focused college in the U.S."
To that end, the Stiller School of Business will be a national leader in strength-based management practices such as Appreciative Inquiry, a systemic approach to change that engages people at all levels of an organization and its stakeholder community, which is a particularly effective tool for managing rapid growth.
As part of this effort, the Stillers' gift will be used to fund Appreciative Inquiry programs for state and regional companies and organizations; endow two Business School chairs with a positive-psychology management focus; make vital capital investments in Perry Hall; and build a new Center for Communication and Creative Media beside the Hauke Family Campus Center. The new facility will free up space in the S.D. Ireland Center for Global Business and Technology so all Business faculty and programs will be located in one building.
Part of the $10 million gift was the 2K42M challenge grant, which earmarked $2 million to the Vision Innovation Passion campaign if at least 2,000 alumni made a donation of any size by June 30, 2013.
"The future of any college rests with the success and generosity of its alumni," says Stiller. "The individuals who support Champlain have altered the landscape of the College and have had a lasting impact on the lives of every student.
"We hope that because of this gift, graduates of the Stiller School of Business will benefit from a distinctive business education that will positively influence them personally as well as their organizations throughout their careers," Stiller says.
The Stiller Family Foundation is dedicated to helping people help themselves. The foundation was established by the family of Bob and Christine Stiller and their three children, reflecting their shared passion for improving people's lives in meaningful, sustainable ways. The majority of the foundation's work has focused on Vermont, and provides support to programs and organizations relating to personal development, education and community development through organizations including Champlain College, the King Street Center, Burlington City Arts and Rebuilding Waterbury. For more information on the Stiller Family Foundation, please visit www.stillerfamilyfoundation.org.