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University launches historic fundraising campaign to build ‘A Bolder Bonaventure’

Sep 12, 2022
Bolder Bonaventure campaign header

St. Bonaventure University announced today the public launch of the largest fundraising campaign in its 164-year history.

Comprehensive in scope, the campaign — named “A Bolder Bonaventure: Ignite. Inspire. Invest.” — seeks to raise $125 million by May 31, 2025.

Coupled with the arrival of St. Bonaventure University’s 22nd president, Dr. Jeff Gingerich, who has put a laser focus on student-centered growth throughout his distinguished career, the campaign aims to radically raise the profile of the university while connecting generations of students to the true meaning and potential of their existence.

“The value of a St. Bonaventure education could never be more important than it is today. Our Franciscan commitment to public service and academic excellence matters,” said Gingerich. “The legacy of what we are building here and what every St. Bonaventure graduate takes with them is so important, at the local community level and across the globe.

“The success of this campaign will honor St. Bonaventure’s remarkable history while ensuring its mission of delivering a transformative educational experience that inspires meaningful and fulfilling lives,” Gingerich added. “It will allow us to invest in our resources while creating programs that ignite and inspire students, faculty and staff well into the future.”

The campaign’s focal point is a bold response to helping students prepare for the challenges and opportunities they will face in an increasingly complex world. The overarching priorities include:

  • Broadening the health care learning environment within the popular Dennis R. DePerro School of Health Professions.
  • Transforming St. Bonaventure’s athletics facilities and ensuring a strongly competitive Division I experience for every student-athlete.
  • Modernizing facilities and enhancing technology within the Jandoli School of Communication.
  • Ensuring an intellectual journey that explores a larger context for our students’ personal, professional and civic lives through academic mission and student experience.
  • Delivering a transformational Franciscan experience for every member of the community through Franciscan mission and ministries.
  • Boosting The Bonaventure Fund, which provides financial aid and makes possible St. Bonaventure’s unique brand of Franciscan higher education.

More than $75 million has been raised since the quiet phase of the campaign began in June 2018. This includes one $6 million gift, the largest single gift St. Bonaventure ever received, 12 individual million-dollar commitments and nearly 50,000 contributors giving $5,000 or less.

Several major donors stepped forward early with significant levels of support, helping to transform iconic Francis Hall into the stunning new home for the DePerro School of Health Professions.

The Leslie C.,’75, and Eileen Quick III family in concert with Jim, ’76, and Nina, ’79, Meyer donated a total of $8 million in support of the DePerro School. They were joined by John “Duffy” Sheehan,’82, and his wife, Sharon, who committed $1 million.

Their landmark gifts enabled the university to offer graduate programs in physician assistant studies, occupational therapy and public health as well as undergraduate programs in nursing, health science and public health. Each of these programs is designed to help meet the growing demand for skilled and caring health care providers in our region and beyond.

Les Quick, who earned a B.B.A. in finance from St. Bonaventure and has served more than 25 years on the university’s Board of Trustees, is serving as the honorary campaign chair of A Bolder Bonaventure. He is founding partner of Simon Quick Advisors.

“As Bonnies, we pay it forward — whether it is with money, time or encouraging students to attend the university. Education is the way to help people get ahead,” Quick said. “That’s why my family and I are investing in the campaign.”

Marianne Letro Laine, ’68, L.H.D., and the Laine family created the Erick Laine Endowed Chair for the School of Business — the first of its kind at the university.

Additionally, 44 endowed scholarships and 16 annual scholarships have been created, already making a difference in the form of attracting talented students to the university. This fall, the university welcomed its largest freshman class in 20 years.

“A campaign of this magnitude is only possible through the loyalty of our alumni and friends,” said Bob Van Wicklin, vice president for University Advancement. “Every member of our community can play an integral part in its success with a gift of any size.”

Kicking off this month is a presidential tour to focus on building A Bolder Bonaventure, with Gingerich and his wife, Betsy, visiting with alumni and friends across the country. The first events take place in Buffalo and Rochester.

“Our alumni and friends recognize the importance of a St. Bonaventure education. We are asking them now to step forward and take ownership of the university’s future,” Van Wicklin added. “Their strong belief in the Bonaventure promise will make this campaign a success.”

To learn more about the presidential tour and the campaign or to make a gift, please visit  


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. St. Bonaventure was named the #5 regional university value in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 college rankings edition.