Mitigating COVID-19's impact
April 2, 2021
Scott Schurz understands how educational institutions work. He has been involved with several universities and colleges for the past 35 to 40 years. And he knows the importance each institution’s foundation plays in allowing it to operate successfully.
Schurz also knows – and loves – Culver Academies. Although he only attended Woodcraft Camp for one year (“I was a Woodtick”), his brother Franklin D. Schurz ’48 is an emeritus member of the Culver Educational Foundation Board of Trustees and his son, John, is a 1991 graduate. He has spent the past 11-12 summers visiting friends who have homes around Lake Maxinkuckee.
He is also a loyal donor to Culver, which will be conducting its 4th annual Day of Giving campaign on April 8 to raise gifts for the Culver Fund. Schurz is helping lessen the burden on Culver caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the cancellation of the 2020 session of Culver Summer Schools & Camps, Schurz recognized the financial need Culver had and generously made a gift of $100,000. It is his hope that donors will follow his lead and contribute annually to the Culver Fund.
First, not having a traditional Culver summer impacted his family personally on several levels – as campers, parents, grandparents, and alumni. But he also understood the extraordinary economic impact the pandemic has had on Culver Academies. While the summer enrollment revenue stream dried up, the operational costs and COVID-19 mitigation expenses tied to the upcoming boarding school year did not.
Schurz has a history of making unrestricted gifts at other institutions such as Indiana and Denison University.
“What this does is protect the corpus (principle) of the institution,” he said. “It is an extremely valuable tool to be used at the Head of Schools’ discretion. Our nation does not have that many pandemics, but – boy – educational institutions need our support now, more than ever.”
Schurz served as the publisher of the Bloomington Herald-Times for years, which was part of the family-owned Schurz Communications Inc. His involvement in Bloomington included extensive philanthropic work with the Indiana University Foundation and other area non-profits. And his news background saw him serve on several national and international press associations.
And, he said, he wasn’t shy when it came to talking about Culver to his friends who were looking for schools or camps for their children. Soon, many of those friends and their families were coming to Culver.
“Culver is just one of the most beautiful campuses for any high school and summer camp in the country,” he said. “I’m just always amazed when I see the horses in the pasture.”
Schurz also understands what can happen when schools – whether they are colleges or high schools – run into financial challenges. He is a graduate of Howe Military Academy in Howe, Indiana, which recently closed its doors. And, to him, that makes protecting what Culver offers its students, campers, alumni and parents all the more important.
“Unrestricted funds ensure that the exceptional Culver experience will continue to carry on,” he explained.