University News

$11 million gift fuels Denison career launch initiatives

Career Center
September 25, 2023

Denison University has received an $11 million gift from the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation. This contribution builds on Knowlton’s transformational commitment to career preparation for Denison students — one that now totals $24 million.

Denison has focused on career preparation for more than a decade. The Knowlton Foundation has been a close collaborator every step of the way, fueled by its mission to partner with colleges and universities to modernize American higher education.

“We are profoundly grateful for the Knowlton Foundation’s confidence in and commitment to our career services,” said Denison President Adam Weinberg. “This investment means that we can continue to provide our students with a mix of experiences that equip them with the knowledge, tools, and life habits so that they can launch quickly and successfully into lives and careers.”

In 2016, this partnership led to the development of the Austin E. Knowlton Center for Career Exploration. The Knowlton Center has become one of the nation’s premier higher education career centers. In annual rankings recently announced by U.S. News & World Report, Denison ranked #6 most innovative, up from #9 last year. Denison was also recognized by the Princeton Review as #3 for career services among all U.S. colleges and universities.

“Denison’s approach to career preparation is already the best in the country, providing a clear answer to the question, ‘What’s the tangible value of a college education?’” said Eric Lindberg ’93, Denison Trustee and Chief Investment Officer and Trustee at the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation. “Denison has been an excellent steward of our prior funding, and we can observe today that Denison students hit the ground running as they launch into their careers with large advantages in technical and qualitative skills. The Knowlton Foundation is delighted to partner with Denison to further accelerate this incredible momentum.”

The Knowlton Center offers personalized career coaching, the journey program — a career readiness boot camp, seven career communities that provide industry-specific knowledge and resources, professional career certificates offered through Denison Edge, and an incredible alumni network. Each year, Denison hosts more than 300 on-campus career events, provides stipends to help fund student interns, and supports 16 career coaches who lead nearly 4,000 personal coaching sessions.

The impact of these efforts is evident in the success of Denison graduates — 92% of graduates are employed, in grad school, or completing service within six months of graduation; 99% of Denison alums are currently employed or in graduate school; 96% report working in their desired field or position; and 94% are satisfied with the preparation Denison provided for professional success after college.

Those benefits don’t stop at Commencement. Through Denison Edge, a Knowlton Center initiative located in downtown Columbus, students and alums take advantage of courses that provide the skills and hands-on experience needed to launch, pivot, or accelerate their careers.

This latest gift from the Knowlton Foundation will help strengthen existing programs, scale successful pilot initiatives, and develop new opportunities for Denison students and alums to achieve professional success.

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