While honoring a century-and-a-half existence, St. Bonaventure University surpassed the goal of its 150th Anniversary Campaign, raising more than $95 million for scholarships, faculty and staff development and research, and a wide range of academic and extracurricular programs.
“Our alumni, parents and friends have come together in an outpouring of support reminiscent of the university’s bold beginnings,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., president of the university. “We have exceeded our expectations and have made a clear and compelling statement that St. Bonaventure has been the ‘good journey’ for 15 decades and has pledged itself to the next 15 with equal love, determination and devotion.”
The more than $95 million represents 20,553 donors. Nearly 12,000 graduates of the university supported the campaign, representing almost 50 percent of the university’s alumni base.
For the first time in the university’s history, 20 donors made million-dollar commitments. Past and present members of the Board of Trustees led the cause with $29,768,577 in commitments, representing more than 30 percent of the campaign’s total.
Leslie C. Quick III, chair of the campaign and member of the university’s Board of Trustees, said that the positive human interaction generated by the campaign has brought about accomplishments that will endure far into the future.
“Our success in this campaign confirms that St. Bonaventure will celebrate many anniversaries to come, as we have taken the steps necessary to assure stability and inspire growth now and in the future,” Mr. Quick said.
The campaign, which launched in June 2000, originally centered on three strategic areas of focus: Enhancing the Learning Experience, Ensuring Franciscan Mission Effectiveness and Securing Institutional Well-Being.
Raising funds for expanded student aid was a top priority during the campaign, in which 27 new annual scholarships and 80 newly endowed scholarships were created. Significantly enhanced scholarship programs enable St. Bonaventure to stand out among an increasingly competitive crowd of high-quality higher education providers, President Carney noted.
Another key component of the campaign was raising funds for facilities, equipment and new building projects, most notably: The William F. Walsh Science Center and renovation of DeLaRoche Hall; the Magnano Centre; the rare books addition to Friedsam Memorial Library, which safeguards the university’s world-renowned book collection; the Sandra A. and William L. Richter Center; and renovation of the Fred Handler Park at McGraw-Jennings Field and Bob Lanier Court in the Reilly Center Arena. President Carney pointed out that during the campaign St. Bonaventure has undergone a physical transformation unrivaled in its history. She added that the infusion of technology in the new and existing buildings reflects the university’s focus on mentoring students in learning environments that captivate and inspire.
Donors also invested in the programs, activities and initiatives that reflect the life and vibrancy of St. Bonaventure’s Franciscan mission, giving more than $5 million collectively to such initiatives as the Franciscan Institute, the Franciscan Friars Endowment, and the St. Bonaventure University Community Fund for Mt. Irenaeus.
The Bonaventure Fund, which is the university’s unrestricted annual fund that provides critical support for current needs of the university, garnered a total of $18,208,826 during the campaign, surpassing its $18 million goal.
“Our donors have been tremendous in their support, especially with their gifts to the Bonaventure Fund,” said Mary Driscoll, associate vice president for Advancement.
Unrestricted gifts, such as those directed to the Bonaventure Fund, support St. Bonaventure’s financial foundation, allowing the university to remain nimble and able to respond to opportunities, Mrs. Driscoll said.
Strong support from faculty and staff helped the university secure a $25,000 challenge match made by university trustee Timothy Fidgeon in honor of the campaign and as a salute to the dedication of St. Bonaventure’s employees. New or increased commitments from faculty and staff totaled $31,061.63. Mr. Fidgeon’s matched contribution established an endowment to support faculty and staff development.
Raymond Dee, vice chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, chair of the Development Committee and co-chair of the Anniversary Campaign, said that St. Bonaventure’s enhanced fundraising efforts created through the campaign are vital to the university’s future.
“When one campaign ends, another begins. While the success of this campaign honors our past and prepares us for a strong future, new initiatives need our resources,” said Mr. Dee, noting that development staff were already several days into a new fundraising phase.
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