Soar to Greatness Tops $85 Million

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The Soar to Greatness capital campaign celebrated exceeding the $85 million goal at a reception on October 11 in the Winter Center.

In June 2006 Millersville University launched a $60 million campaign to fund eight priorities: visual and performing arts; library renovations; instructional equipment; student-faculty research and faculty development; global opportunities; community/civic partnerships; scholarships/fellowships; and student health and wellness.

The 32 campaign cabinet members met and guided the campaign through the six year period.  Campaign Chair, Steve Kepchar ’70 discussed the campaign’s background at the celebration, “Given concerns with state and national economic issues, a public announcement of the campaign was delayed a year, but in October of 2010 the cabinet, based on fundraising success, momentum and ongoing needs of the University, decided to increase the goal to $85 million.” He continued,  “This campaign has been a total ‘revenue generation’ effort with matching commonwealth dollars for the library and this Winter Center, from competitive public grants, and corporate sponsorships and, of course, private gifts from alumni, corporations, foundations, university employees and friends of the University.”

There were 11,245 donors contributing $85,105,803 as of October 11, 2012.  Gifts to the Soar to Greatness campaign will be counted until December 31. Some of the gifts to date include:

  • $9 million gifted to the visual and performing arts priority providing present and future students with quality facilities such as the Ware and Winter Centers and their programming;
  • $500,000 gift of equipment that greatly enhanced student learning within the technology and science areas;
  • $1.5 million competitive public grant that provided scholarships for students interested in teaching math in urban school districts;
  • More than a million dollars in gifts that will assist student scholarships in the sciences, particularly marine biology and physics;
  • Athletics private fundraising, primarily for scholarships, increased from $220,000 to $600,000 this year;
  • More than $20 million for all scholarship purposes.
  • $2 million raised for global partnerships to provide important international experiences for students;
  • a $500,000 commitment will enhance the library area;
  • $8 million secured in grants promote faculty-student research including a $73,000 grant allowing for students and faculty to collaborate on data collection in the development of military night vision equipment;
  • a $200,000 corporate gift assists students volunteering at nonprofit organizations;
  • a $100,000 gift established a unique alumni mentoring program for Honors College students;
  • a $100,000 gift established the first Innovator-in-Residence and Lectureship;
  • a $300,000 gift established the Walker Center for Leadership and Civic Responsibility, bringing interesting national and international leaders to campus and offering internship experiences for students in Washington, D.C.; and a
  • $100,000 gift strengthened the University’s women’s wellness center programming.

“This initiative, I believe, illustrates well how a greater community comes together to make a university a better place providing educational opportunities ‘second to none,’” said Francine G. McNairy, president of Millersville University.  “I have always felt that public higher education is about the public good – we graduate an educated workforce, aware consumers, informed citizens and those who understand family and community responsibilities.  By your investment you have not only strengthened this University but I believe also our community, state and nation – please do not underestimate your contribution to the public good!”

In addition to celebrating breaking the $85 million mark, attendees at the celebration got to hear the world premiere of “Horizons,” a commissioned work by composer Jonathan Leshnoff, in honor of Caroline Steinman Nunan, local philanthropist and donor to the University who passed away in July 2010.

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