Frequently Asked Questions
What is the President’s Council?
The President's Council has provided more than 47 years of notable assistance to the University. Bringing energy and generosity to the task, Council members have a distinguished record of diligent service and faithful support.
- Function as goodwill ambassadors
- Furnish advice and counsel on matters of strategic importance
- Contribute financial support and leadership, especially to the President's Council Scholarship Fund
- Assist in student recruitment and job placement
- Identify new Council prospects and work with Advancement staff in the recruitment process.
What is the history of the President’s Council?
In the spring of 1965, at the request of President Clifton L. Ganus Jr., the Harding College Board of Trustees gave permission to organize a President’s Development Council. Its purpose was, as Ganus described it, “to be the eyes and ears of the college,” while assisting the president in planning the growth and progress of Harding. By the time of the first meeting of the Council, on August 10, 1965, 67 families had agreed to serve. Today the President’s Council is more than 1,000 members strong.
How does one become a member of the President’s Council?
The Council includes people who are committed to the mission of Harding University: to integrate faith, learning and living. From a wide geographical distribution, the University seeks additional men and women for Council membership who demonstrate their interest in advancing the cause of Christian education and its potential impact on the world through their service to Harding University.
Members are asked to commit to a three-year donor pledge in one of the four giving levels to qualify for the Council. Members are also encouraged to participate in the bi-annual President’s Council meetings, though attendance is not required for membership.
When a President’s Council member donates to Harding, what do those funds support?
The President's Council Scholarship Fund assists students with a variety of financial needs, including academic, athletic, departmental and performance-related scholarships. With more than 80 percent of Harding's students requiring some form of financial assistance, this scholarship fund addresses Harding's primary commitment to the recruitment of quality students.
Gifts made to the President’s Council Scholarship Fund are unrestricted and therefore added to The Harding Fund. These gifts, along with restricted scholarship donations and endowed scholarships, help reduce the cost of attendance by one-third and make it possible for many students who otherwise could not afford their Harding education to be here. These young men and women leave campus prepared to serve God, their families and neighbors through their faith and work.
Can I make a restricted gift to Harding and qualify for membership in the President’s Council?
Yes, gifts by President’s Council members are not limited to unrestricted donations. Members can make restricted gifts to support specific programs, or to an endowed scholarship, which is regarded as restricted.
What are the President’s Council’s four giving levels?
The four giving levels are named after Harding’s four presidents:
- David B. Burks Level – Honoring annual gifts between $600-$1,499.
- Clifton L. Ganus Jr. Level – Honoring annual gifts between $1,500-$4,999.
- George S. Benson Level – Honoring annual gifts between $5,000-$9,999.
- J.N. Armstrong Level – Honoring annual gifts of $10,000 or more.
Donors are asked to make a minimum commitment of three years to participate in the President’s Council.
What is the President’s Council Medallion Collection, and how do I receive the set of medallions?
Your commitment and support enables Harding to continue the legacy set by our past presidents and many others who made Harding their personal ministry. As a token of our appreciation for your donation, we are pleased to offer the President’s Council Medallion Collection, which depicts the likenesses of Harding’s four presidents on the obverse of one of four 2 ½-inch medallions, and the University seal on the reverse. Each medallion comes with its own wooden stand.
The medallions represent the different President’s Council giving levels. When you give within a specific level, you will receive that level’s medallion and all lower levels. As you graduate through the levels, you will receive those respective medals. Donors are limited to one medallion per level.
Am I required to receive the medallions if I don’t want them?
No, you can decline the medallions if you prefer.
How often does the President’s Council meet?
The President’s Council meets twice annually, during Homecoming weekend in the Fall and Spring Sing (Easter) weekend in the Spring. Attendance is not mandatory, but members are encouraged to attend.
Why did you change the structure of the President’s Council?
The goal of the new structure is to not only expand Council participation and make the donor group more inclusive, but to acknowledge the presidents’ legacies. As we constantly speak with donors, we see a tremendous value in inviting alumni and friends of all ages and demographic backgrounds to join the Council.
It is also fitting in an organization called the President’s Council that we acknowledge the four men who committed themselves to the high calling of chief executive officer.