Monmouth College has received one of its largest commitments in college history, and it will be used to provide students with more opportunities to become globally engaged citizens.

The $4.15 million donation, from alumna Karen Krueger of the Class of 1972, will help Monmouth students who want to study abroad and support faculty in developing short-term and semester-long study abroad opportunities, according to a Monday college release.

Monmouth alumna Karen Krueger is retired from a 41-year-career with the U.S. State Department.

It will also establish the Krueger Center for Global Engagement at Monmouth College. The Krueger Center will include the Karen Krueger Chair in Global Engagement and an endowed fund to support activities such as study abroad, globally-themed internships and research projects, intensive language instruction, and campus speakers and symposia.

“My goal is to open doors to students, especially those who might not have even thought they would have the opportunity to learn more about the world outside the U.S. by experiencing it first-hand,” said Krueger, who grew up in Joliet, Ill.

Krueger, who now lives in the Washington, D.C. area, has had a lifelong commitment to education, learning and to global engagement through a 41-year career with the U.S. Department of State. She retired twice from the Department of State — first, from the Foreign Service in 2005, then in 2018 after 13 years as a Civil Service Officer.

Monmouth College will establish the Krueger Center for Global Engagement with the new gift.

“Karen has said that she regards Monmouth students as her ‘kids.’ Her career is a wonderful example of ambition and service for the students of Monmouth College,” said Monmouth President Clarence Wyatt. “Her gifts represent an incredible legacy for them and for the generations of Scots to come. They are an extraordinary affirmation of how Monmouth College changes for the better the arc of students’ lives and serves as a powerful example and inspiration for others.”

Krueger — who holds a bachelor’s degree in government/political science from Monmouth and a master’s degree in foreign service (international relations) from Georgetown University — said that Monmouth is the “perfect college for this kind of commitment.”

“With Monmouth’s focus on the liberal arts, students are assured of receiving a well-rounded education that will serve them well in whatever path they choose after graduation. Exposure to the larger world through study and personal engagement can build on that and help prepare them to live, work and lead in an increasingly complex and changing world,” she said.

“I would like to provide opportunities to help students experience first-hand that the world is full of many different cultures, with different traditions, religions, and methods of government. Yet, though there are differences, we also have much in common – love of family and a desire for safety, food, clothing, housing, i.e., the basics of life.

“We can also learn from each other. Perhaps someone has solved a problem that we haven’t solved yet, or perhaps we can share one of our ideas with them,” Krueger said in the release. “Recognizing our shared interests, and building the necessary and rewarding bridges to understanding, are essential to addressing issues that require global solutions – from the future of our planet to issues as diverse as the health of its population and international crime.