The History of I-Fund

The Independent College Fund (The I-Fund) was founded in 1953 as “The Association of Independent Colleges in Maryland” to promote “the cause of higher education and culture within the state of Maryland.” The original founding Presidents established a committed vision and we salute them:

  • Lowell S. Ensor, Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College)
  • Daniel Z. Gibson, Washington College
  • Andrew G. Truxal, Hood College
  • Richard D. Weigle, St. John’s College

The I-Fund offices are now located at the Johns Hopkins at Eastern Campus in Baltimore. Across from the former site of the well-known Memorial Stadium, Johns Hopkins at Eastern was originally built in 1938 in the Tudor Revival style as one of two flagship all-girl high schools: Eastern High School (Western HS was the other). The school closed in 1986 and was left in disrepair.

Eastern High School prior to Johns Hopkins renovations

Johns Hopkins University purchased the property and began a 5-year rehabilitation program in 1996 to bring it to the quality educational facility it is today.

The I-Fund conducts annual solicitation of Corporations and Foundations to benefit the independent liberal arts colleges.

Membership in the Independent College Fund is open to any college fulfilling the following requirements:

  • Located in the state of Maryland
  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Offering a well-established, four year liberal arts program culminating in a degree
  • Defined by Section 170 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code as a school
  • Having a predominantly non-sectarian focus in academics and a pervasive financial reliance on the private sector

Of the 18 independent colleges in Maryland, 10 institutions are longstanding members of The I-Fund. All 18 colleges work together on state legislative issues through the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA).

The I-Fund is one of 36 state and regional organizations affiliated with the Foundation for Independent Higher Education (FIHE). This relationship affords us the opportunity to replicate scholarship programs for our investors in any state or region they select.