Against the backdrop of a clear blue sky, in front of the newly renovated Charles E. Shain Library, President Katherine Bergeron announced Connecticut College has received the largest gift in its history.

The $20 million gift from Robert Hale ’88 and Karen Hale will take this College to new levels of excellence by providing $10 million in scholarships; $5 million in support of our nationally recognized career program; and $5 million for improvements to our athletics facilities, the president told the crowd of students, faculty and staff.

"Thanks to the Hales' generosity, we are starting a new chapter in the history of Connecticut College — one that will make our already great College even greater," Bergeron said.

In making this transformative gift, the Hales are helping to affirm the College’s commitment to access by expanding financial resources in order to ensure that the exceptional education it offers is available to an even broader range of talented students. To achieve this, a new Hale Scholars Program will be established that supports the College’s longstanding promise to meet 100 percent of an accepted student’s demonstrated financial need.

The gift also recognizes the importance of educating students for their lives after college by providing critical resources to support the continued growth of the College’s nationally recognized career program. Ranked by the Princeton Review among the top 20 in North America — the only liberal arts school in New England to have that distinction — the career program can now attract visionary, dynamic leadership through the creation of a newly endowed position, the Hale Family Director of Career and Professional Development.

"Connecticut College today is at the lead of the career preparation arena," Robert Hale told the crowd via video. "We’re going to build on that strength."

The Hale gift will also improve the College's athletics facilities. A third of the College's student body currently participates in varsity athletics, and many other students are involved in club sports.

"The ability to be on a team helped shape me in many ways," said Robert Hale, a history major and varsity lacrosse player at the College. "Winning and losing, and handling both of them with grace are important life experiences."

Recognized repeatedly for his philanthropy and community engagement, Robert Hale currently serves on the board of Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, Deerfield Academy and the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, an organization that raises funds for the college education of children of fallen service members. Karen Hale is also a passionate advocate for education, serving as a trustee of South Shore YMCA and as a former trustee of Old Colony Montessori.

Together, they want Connecticut College to remain at the forefront of excellence.

"There is a brilliant liberal arts education to be had at Connecticut College, one that creates vibrant, thoughtful adults," Robert Hale said. "We simply wanted to do our part to help the school build on its excellent foundation, and we hope others will join us as we take the College to the next level of greatness."