MacMurray Releases Disposition Guide of Assets, Inventory Plans

By Benjamin Cox on May 18, 2020 at 6:07pm

MacMurray College has begun making plans to inventory historical items, and has made a guide in the disposition of MacMurray’s many assets, including its campus. Newly elected Board of Trustees chairman John Nicolay has outlined four priorities for the board in the coming months: successful closure of the college, establishment of an alumni foundation, completion of bank negotiations, and settlement of all debt including sale of assets.

Nicolay and President Dr. Beverly Rodgers outlined in a press release to alumni over the weekend that the board would like to sell the college’s 60-acre campus in its entirety. Rodgers has been responding to numerous requests from prospective buyers, some of whom have interest in maintaining an educational institution on the site. A leading commercial realty brokerage is preparing a proposal for the Board and will guide the sale or auction of the campus, expected to occur over the summer. More information is expected later next month.

At the request of the Board, President Rodgers’ has agreed to remain in her current role through September 30th. MacMurray’s faculty will end its service to the college May 20th; most staff will end their service on May 26th. Approximately one dozen staff members in key roles have agreed to extend their work through June 30th.

Henry Pfeiffer Library Director Adam Cassell is working toward a goal of finding new homes for MacMurray’s book and historical collections. He serves on a special Board task force to oversee the protection and preservation of all MacMurray historical material. Library faculty and staff have been cataloging all the school’s historical items. Books will find new homes through donations, partnerships with other educational institutions, non-profits, for-profits and other local libraries. Subscription services will continue to be available through June at the library. The university art collection, which includes numerous paintings by the renowned Nellie Knopf, was catalogued several years ago and is currently being appraised by Hindman Chicago, a unit of Sotheby’s. The MacMurray College archive contains the permanent records of the college. The eventual goal is to have the archive located at the Jacksonville Area Museum. The Library also is arranging for transfer of its Methodist archive back to the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. Rev. Dr. Beth Fender, a MacMurray trustee and alumnus who works at IGRC, is coordinating where this collection will reside. The collection contains a vast amount of the region’s church histories and a large amount of information on the Rev. Peter Cartwright, including the sermons given in his honor every year, and hymnals dating back to 1813.

An alumni association is currently being organized and details are currently being worked out by current and former members of the alumni board. MacMurray’s Board has retained a specialized accounting firm to manage financial due diligence and to guide the steps necessary to produce a clear report on the college’s remaining endowment. Some of the accounts on the endowment are more than 100 years old and will be reviewed and released at a later time.

The Class of 2020 is hoping that they can celebrate a possible graduation-style ceremony on Founders’ Day of the college on October 20th. MacMurray announced its permanent closure on March 27th.