The head fundraiser at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University visits Rockford Tuesday, a city that would love to give his school $1 million.
Dan Montplaisir (right), vice president of institutional advancement, says his visit is to thank the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and donors who pledged to the $1 million Rock the Air scholarship fund.
He says he’s not coming because the university has made a decision on where it will build a third residential campus.
“I’m just meeting people — not scoping out the area — and talking about philanthropy,” said Montplaisir, who is in the Chicago are this week on university business. “It’s a chance to meet face-to-face to thank them for their efforts so far.”
Last summer, Embry-Riddle officials said they were looking at Rockford as a site for a four-year residential campus to train pilots, engineers and others for aviation careers. As a part efforts to lure the campus, a scholarship endowment fund was created at the community foundation with one caveat: Embry-Riddle must put the campus in Rockford to get the money.
To date, the fund has raised $476,717 in cash and pledges.
The school, which is also considering a site in Houston, is expected to decide between the two cities this spring.
Money invested in endowed funds at the foundation make once yearly payouts of 4.5 percent of principle to be used for charitable purposes. Rock the Air payouts would fund scholarships to Midwestern students attending Embry-Riddle in Rockford.
On $1 million, the payout would be $45,000.
Montplaisir said that equals five to 10 scholarships a year — $4,500 and $9,000 to the private — for a student to attend the private, nonprofit university where tuition, fees, books, and room and board for 2010-11 is $39,438.
“That would be a significant amount against their tuition,” he said.
Gloria Lundin, president of the community foundation, said the visit allows her group to showcase its efforts not only to to attract Embry-Riddle, but to work with the school if it comes.
“We want to show Embry-Riddle we have the capability to help them grow, too,” she said.
Ken Dufour (left), a Rockford businessman and Embry-Riddle trustee, said it’s important that the school recognize efforts on its behalf.
“I think you can definitely invoke a visit from a development officer because that’s a significant donation,” Dufour said.
A news conference is set for 2:15 p.m. Tuesday at the foundation.