At Millersville University, the ongoing “Imagine the Possible” fundraising campaign has been making history since it began more than four years ago on July 1, 2017. As the first fundraising campaign in Millersville University history focused entirely on students, the “Imagine the Possible” campaign has been providing transformative experiences for students through scholarships, student learning experiences and athletics that have resulted in extraordinary student accomplishments and rewarding careers. Throughout the campaign, remarkable student achievements have been celebrated in the classroom, in athletic competitions and in the community.
Thousands of Millersville University students have benefited from the support of the “Imagine the Possible” campaign, and the potential to assist every student in need of support is possible through a recent announcement of an extension of the campaign to include a new campaign priority area of Campus Revitalization and a new overall fundraising goal to raise $90 million in private support by 2023. As of September 2021, the campaign has already raised more than $81 million and has reached more than 90% of the overall fundraising goal.
When the “Imagine the Possible” campaign was launched in 2017, the three-year campaign started with an overall fundraising goal to raise $32 million by July 2020, with a focus on three campaign priority areas of Scholarships, Student Learning Experiences and Marauder Athletics. In the spring of 2020 as the “Imagine the Possible” campaign was approaching its conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the Millersville University community and the world and introduced tremendous financial uncertainty for Millersville University students and their families. To address the needs of students seeking support during a difficult time, the University announced an extension of the “Imagine the Possible” campaign.
In July 2020, through the generous support of donors and friends, the “Imagine the Possible” campaign surpassed the original $32 million goal with a three-year campaign fundraising total of more than $52.8 million, exceeding the three-year goal by more than 65%. This outstanding fundraising progress continued into 2021, when extraordinary donors made University history with transformative gifts to benefit Millersville University students.
With the introduction of the Campus Revitalization priority area, the “Imagine the Possible” campaign has established a $15 million goal for the new priority area, as historic gifts contribute to the fundraising progress. In 2021, Millersville University announced a record-setting $1.5 million gift from Lois Morgan ’54 – the largest single gift in the history of Millersville Athletics – toward a three-phrase renovation of Biemesderfer Stadium to become the Morgan Athletic Complex, in honor of Morgan’s generous gift. The comprehensive renovation of Biemesderfer Stadium will include an overhaul and expansion of the locker rooms and athletic training rooms at the stadium, with future phases of the plan to include the installation of a video scoreboard to replace the existing scoreboard from 2003, and a new press box. The Morgan Athletic Complex will become a state-of-the-art facility that will enhance athletic recruitment opportunities, improve team building and foster competitive excellence.
In August 2021, Millersville University announced the largest single gift in the history of the University as a $5 million gift from Dr. Samuel Lombardo and his wife, Dena, toward funding the complete transformation of Brooks Hall to become the Samuel N. and Dena M. Lombardo Hall. The generous gift will provide the future physical home for the Lombardo College of Business and create a collaborative and inclusive campus space that brings together business, entrepreneurship and innovation. The historic building of Brooks Hall will be reimagined and renewed to maintain the tradition and legacy of the building while incorporating the latest technology.
Across the Millersville University campus, the Campus Revitalization priority area will support the transformation and restoration of physical spaces that will enrich the student experience and rejuvenate the landscape. The focus on Campus Revitalization includes the restoration of two campus ponds – the landmark campus pond/lake and Roddy Pond, located adjacent to the science complex on Creek Drive. Currently, an algae bloom in the pond water of the historic campus pond has created a critical need for restoration to maintain a healthy habitat. Donations from the Millersville University community for the Swan Drop event at Homecoming 2021 are providing financial support toward the essential funding needed to restore the campus pond for the future.
At Roddy Pond, a campus space that has served as an outdoor laboratory for biology, earth sciences, chemistry and geography courses for decades, the pond has unhealthy oxygen levels for organisms to survive. Additionally, there is a current need to establish an on-campus field station that could allow a greater number of students and faculty to conduct class studies and empirical research at Roddy Pond and provide an aesthetic improvement to the campus landscape. Through upgrading and maintaining Roddy Pond, the on-campus field station can expand the effort to train Millersville University students for the next generation of careers.
In the effort to develop top-notch facilities to nurture student success, an upgrade to the chemistry laboratories to replace the chemistry lab fume hoods and the building automation system (BAS) is needed to improve the laboratory facilities for Millersville University students. Establishing cutting-edge laboratory spaces will provide students with high-quality facilities that foster new ideas, discoveries and exploration.
As the historic “Imagine the Possible” campaign continues, the investment in students that is the foundation of the campaign will multiply the exceptional accomplishments that will be achieved in the future by the thousands of Millersville University students whose lives have been positively changed through campaign fundraising support. The tremendous generosity of donors over the past four years has marked momentous milestones at Millersville University, and the lifelong journeys of student success resulting from the “Imagine the Possible” campaign will make history for years to come.