Career center earns $9.3m grant from donor

MAT SCOTT & RICHARD BERMAN

News Editor & Director of C4CX

A gift from the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation has been pledged to the Center for Career Exploration in the form of a $9.3 million endowment to create the benchmark program for students to assist with transitioning from the liberal arts into the professional world.

Following the gift, the center will be officially renamed “The Austin E. Knowlton Center for Career Exploration.”

Dean of Career Preparation Richard T. Berman, remarked, “The Knowlton gift will go a long way in supporting the career readiness and future prospects of Denison students and recent graduates. We are grateful for the Foundation’s belief in our alternative model that centers on helping Denisonians take ownership of their futures.”

Following a new model known as Denison@Work, the University will be focusing on a four-year developmental model that will comprise four steps: (1) student confidence-building; (2) career awareness-raising and building workplace skills; (3) hands-on experience (e.g., internships); and, (4) a networking approach students can exercise to launch purposefully from Denison into the worlds of work, service, and advanced study.

The funding will support new exploratory programs, increase technological and human resources (e.g., new staffing and engaging alumni to help students in a variety of ways), and underwrite the real costs of students participating in a wide range of both familiar and unconventional exploratory programs … on campus, in central Ohio, and across the nation and world.”

Austin E. “Dutch” Knowlton, owner and CEO of the Knowlton Construction Company in Bellefontaine, Ohio, led many construction projects throughout Ohio and the Midwest regions that included buildings such as colleges, hospitals, and libraries.

More information about the endowment and the goals of the Center for Career Exploration can be found on the University Communications website at denison.edu/news-events/press/66452.

Career Exploration remains open on the second and third floor of Burton Morgan center.