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- by  Su Byron

The 42nd Annual Clambake at New College on November 4 raised more than $530,000—the most ever generated in the event’s history.

According to MaryAnne Young, the executive director of the New College Foundation, nearly 400 people attended the bayfront event and 100 percent of the funds raised will be directed toward student scholarships.

“Scholarships are vital in making New College attractive to the best and brightest students, regardless of financial status,” said Young, adding that, while New College is public, state funding covers only a portion of what is needed to preserve the College as an exemplary institution.

The Foundation raises private funds through philanthropy, providing more than $2 million annually for student scholarships, faculty and student research, and campus enhancements.

“Some of the most gifted students in our region, nation and the world choose to attend New College, and about 90 percent of them receive financial aid,” Young said. “These scholarships open up the world to them.”

New College President Patricia Okker agrees that scholarships and donors change lives.

“People who give scholarships are a special breed,” Okker said. “They put their faith in young people and in a liberal arts education. They are committed to the future.”

Clambake co-chairs Karin Gustafson and Priscilla and Jack Schlegel said that this is also a transformative time for the Foundation.

“Despite the pandemic’s challenges, we marked the most successful fundraising year in our history,” Jack Schlegel said. “This magnanimous support came from New College’s dedicated alumni and our friends from the community. It also poured in from regional foundations and from board leaders. That support is a ringing vote of confidence in New College’s mission and track record. More importantly, it empowers our future.”

K.C. Casey, a third-year student, exemplifies that future. Casey would not have been able to attend New College without scholarships.

“College seemed like a long shot,” Casey said, recounting how they had become homeless after high school. Through help from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and the New College Foundation, they were able to pay for housing and attend New College.

“I’m receiving an education I could not have dreamed of a few years ago,” Casey said. “I’ve finally found a home.”

For more information on the New College Foundation, call 941-487-4800 or visit

Su Byron is the communications specialist for the New College Foundation.