On December 31, 2012, the Soar to Greatness Capital Campaign officially closed, reaching $88 million—an achievement which will propel Millersville University forward to its next stages of success for years to come. Employees contributed with 648 current and retired faculty and staff contributing more than $3.65 million to the campaign.

Launched in June 2006, the campaign for Millersville University had eight funding priorities identified with an initial overall goal of $60 million. It was the most ambitious fundraising undertaking in the history of the University or by any university within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. In May 2010, Millersville decided to increase the campaign goal to $85 million.

Central to the strategy of the campaign was the concept of total revenue generation. The campaign embraced a total “revenue generation” effort by matching Commonwealth dollars for the renovation and expansion of the library and the expansion and transformation of Lyte Auditorium into the Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center. Revenue for all of the eight priorities came from a mix of sources including competitive public grants, corporate sponsorships and, of course, private gifts from alumni, corporations, foundations, friends and University employees.

The campaign raised 40 percent, or $35.5 million, from the Commonwealth through matching dollar support for facility projects. The remaining $52.5 million, or 60 percent of the campaign revenue, was generated from private gifts (both individuals and corporations) and competitive state/federal grants and contracts including corporate partnerships. Of the $52.5 million, $38.7 million (74 percent) came from private support and $13.8 million (26 percent) from competitive state/federal grants, contracts and corporate partnerships.

The 32 campaign cabinet members were guided by staff members. They represented the stakeholders of this University—students, alumni, friends, employees, parents, business associates, neighbors, retirees and others. Stephen Kepchar ’70, ’12H was campaign cabinet chair and Bennett Cooper, Esq. ’67, ’12H, was vice chair. The campaign’s honorary chairs were Dr. J. Freeland Chryst ’50,’98H, founder & chairman of The Jay Group, and James Argires, M.D., neurosurgeon with Lancaster NeuroScience & Spine Associates.


Impact of the campaign:

  • More than $21.7 million from private donations and state support gifted to the visual and performing arts priority providing present and future students with quality facilities such as the Ware and Winter centers and its programming.
  • A $500,000 gift to support the purchase of instructional equipment to greatly enhance student learning for a variety of facilities across the University including the sciences and the performing arts.
  • A $1.5 million competitive federal 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.
  • During the campaign athletic private fundraising, primarily for scholarships, increased from $220,000 to $600,000 this year.
  • Overall, more than $20 million has been gifted for all scholarship purposes.
  • $100,000 gift established a unique alumni mentoring program for Honors College students.
  • $300,000 gift established the first “Innovator in Residence and Lectureship.”
  • The $2 million plus raised for global partnerships will provide important international experiences for students.
  • $500,000 commitment will enhance the exterior library area creating a reading, sculpture garden and class space.
  • $5.8 million secured in grants promote faculty-student research.
  • A $200,000 corporate gift assists students volunteering at nonprofit organizations.
  • A $300,000 gift established the Walker Center for Leadership and Civic Responsibility.
  • A $50,000 gift strengthened the University’s women’s wellness center programming.
  • A $250,000 gift providing baseball scholarships.
  • A $800,000 gift establishing the first endowed academic program in Entrepreneurial studies.
  • A $100,000 gift establishing an unrestricted presidential endowment.

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