Across Lewis & Clark, campaign funds are being invested in a variety of programs that transform a liberal arts education into real-world action.

Bel Kuhl BA '25, Nick Kay BA '27, and Jayden Simpson BA '24 at the Bates Center Bel Kuhl BA ’25, Nick Kay BA ’27, and Jayden Simpson BA ’24 at the Bates Center


John E. and Susan S. Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Lewis & Clark alums are pioneering initiatives that do everything from reducing single-use plastics to creating healthy desserts, and many of those ideas have their roots at the John E. and Susan S. Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership.

With a slew of classes, internships, and networking opportunities, the Bates Center equips students with an “entrepreneurial mindset,” according to Chrys Hutchings, managing director of the center.

“We’re building on our deep liberal arts strength here at Lewis & Clark,” says Hutchings. “We help students apply their education and prepare for roles as advocates for themselves and others in the future of work, venture, and adventure.”

In just the last three years, enrollment in Bates courses has grown by 230 percent, with about 300 students enrolled at a time. Participation is especially strong among first-generation, low-income, and international students. There’s so much demand for courses that, last fall, the center added a third section of its introductory class.

This comes with the launch of a minor in entrepreneurial leadership and innovation in the spring of 2020. It has quickly become the most popular undergraduate minor, providing students the opportunity to connect the dots from their outstanding liberal arts education to the impact they have post-graduation.

Brent Hutchings BA '84

The Bates Center gives students the opportunity to apply entrepreneurial thinking to help solve many of our world’s most pressing challenges.”

Brent Hutchings BA ’84, Campaign Cochair and Trustee

These courses tap into students’ “eagerness to search for innovative ways to solve problems, driven by a sense of urgency and a willingness to take risks,” says Professor of Psychology Brian Detweiler-Bedell, the center’s founding director. “When they leave Lewis & Clark, they’ve developed their curiosity into lifelong creativity, resourcefulness, and resilience, as they strive to bring their ideas to life and make a meaningful impact on the world.”

One of those students is Amelia Eichel BA ’20, who cofounded Wonderfil, a green business that saves consumers money while removing plastic from the supply chain. Based in Santa Cruz, California, the company installs refill stations for liquid and cream products at universities, grocery stores, and businesses across the map.

Eichel first started researching plastic consumption and circular economy solutions through the Bates Center when she was at L&C.

“The center encourages entrepreneurs to delve deeply into understanding complex social or environmental problems before working on solutions,” says Eichel.

Patrick Nielson BA '71, Trustee, and Dorris Nielson

We’re excited to support the Center for Social Change and Community Involvement, another programmatic opportunity for students to develop leadership skills and strengthen our communities.”

Patrick Nielson BA ’71, Trustee, and Dorris Nielson


  • Programs addressing social suffering brought by incarceration, inequitable access to higher education, and physical or mental illness, thanks to the Mellon Foundation
  • The creation of the Lewis & Clark Advocacy Center, solidifying the law school’s leading role in experiential learning
  • An endowment to support equipment, travel, and other costs associated with the men’s soccer program
  • Funding for women’s athletic programs and additional opportunities to boost the female student-athlete experience on campus

She also participated in Winterim, a five-day immersive workshop over winter break where students pitch ideas and learn from leaders in the for-profit and nonprofit professional community. This past winter, an anonymous donation made Winterim free to students for the first time.

In addition, the Bates Center recently received a $1.5 million grant from the Robert D. and Marcia H. Randall Charitable Trust to endow its first professorship. With a match of $1.5 million from the college, the Bates Center plans to make the full-time faculty hire by fall 2024.

“We know students are motivated by what the Bates Center has to offer,” says President Robin Holmes-Sullivan. “We can now better serve our students and our community by expanding the center’s work and influence.”


The Student Engagement Help Desk in Fowler Student Center


With the help of campaign dollars, we’ve been able to make high-impact investment in our campus spaces, making sustainable decisions that prioritize adaptive reuse.

cover story, Fall-2023
An aerial view of the Frank Manor House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and was part of the original Fir Acres estate.

Over The Top

The Exploring for the Global Good campaign was the most ambitious in Lewis & Clark’s history. Together, we met–and exceeded–our $155 million goal a full year early.

Myryl Caccam BA '27 and Greg Caldwell


Our campaign success has enabled us to make significant investments in the people of Lewis & Clark. This translates into expanded scholarship opportunities as well as endowed faculty positions in areas such as entrepreneurship —plus, much more!

On October 19, the L&C community celebrated achieving the $155 million campaign goal in Fowler Student Center.

Thank You to Donors

More than 18,000 individual donors contributed to the success of the Exploring for the Global Good campaign. We extend our thanks to each one, including the campaign leadership who helped spearhead this landmark effort.


Campaign Stats

Lewis & Clark raised $155,224,873 during the campaign. Check out the numbers behind the campaign’s success here.