The Alfond Inn is exceeding expectations, which will create scholarships for students in the future.
According to the gift that helped fund the inn, part of the proceeds of the hotel have to go to scholarships. The scholarships will last for 25 years or $50 million worth of scholarships—whichever comes later. Because of the inn’s high performance, Rollins will have to provide scholarships for the full 25 years; they are expecting to reach the $50 million mark in year 11 or 12.
“At the end of 25 years, we will have fully funded over 33 full-ride scholarships; that’s tuition, room, and board,” said Jeffrey Eisenbarth, Vice President for Business and Finance and Treasure.
In the 25th year, there will be 33 students across the four undergraduate years who will have full scholarships. This is more than the eight Alfond Scholars that each class averages. The money that is currently dedicated to full ride scholarships can then be diverted to other purposes.
Approximately $3 million (or more) a year will continue to go into the scholarship fund each year, which is invested in the school’s endowment. At the end of the 25 years, the school expects to have approximately $145 million dollars in the scholarship fund.
The Alfond Inn has been booked at a rate of over 90 percent, and they are usually full on weekends. This can be compared to the industry average of 64 percent room occupancy.
The occupancy rate is higher during the school year, but summer programs, like the Duke TIP program, have helped during the slow summer months. To get rooms during events such as Commencement, people have been booking rooms as much as a year in advance.
“I think that there’s no place else to stay, and it’s easy walk to Park Avenue, an easy walk to campus,” said Eisenbarth.
After 25 years Rollins will have met the requirement of the gift. The school can then choose to continue, or not to continue, dedicating part of the earnings from the hotel to scholarships.