The fundraising challenge set for the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) has been successfully met, but with not long to spare.
IIML’s founding patron and American businessman Glenn Schaeffer set the institute a three year challenge to raise one million dollars for the MA writing programme, promising to match every New Zealand dollar raised with an American one.
Although around a third of the money was raised in the last couple of months, by the deadline of 31 December it looked as if they were going to be just short of the one million, says IIML Director Bill Manhire. However, an email sent the day before the deadline by a donor offering to make up the remainder wasn’t opened until 10 January because of the University holidays.
“So it wasn’t so much the eleventh hour as the thirteenth hour”, says Manhire. Although he was happy with the result, he was “pleased it’s over”, so he could go back to teaching and writing.
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The money, which at current exchange rates will add to just over two and a half million New Zealand dollars will be put into an endowment fund, possibly to go towards annual fellowships for graduates of the MA programme.