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College raises funds for major renovations

| Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Saint Mary’s kept the spirit of Heritage Week moving Tuesday with the Capital Campaign presentation given by Shari Rodriguez, vice president of college relations.

The College’s fundraising campaign, titled “Faith Always, Action Now,” was approved by the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees in June 2008 to raise endowment for scholarships and financial aid, enhanced student and academic experiences, professorships, academic departments, the annual fund, Angela athletic facilities and athletic fields, the science hall and the Cushwa-Leighton Library. The campaign aims to raise $80,000,000 and so far has received $78,700,000.

“We had our wonderful campaign launch on Feb. 22 last year. We launched the campaign with 70 percent of our goal achieved,” Rodriguez said. “At that same time, we hired an architect to develop drawings for Angela Athletic and Wellness Facility.”

Rodriguez said so far, more than 14,500 donor families have donated and 714 alumnae have given their first gift to the College because of this campaign.

“I’m really proud of our alumnae and our donors for what they have done to the College,” she said. “They’re very committed to this education.”

The campaign ends in December 2014, and Rodriguez said the Board plans and hopes to far exceed the goal of $80,000,000. To do so, she said, the campaign will leverage its energy around the Angela Facility.

The proposed plan for the new Angela consists of a new field house with an elevated track, a café, a television and lounge area with fireplaces on each end of the entryway, new offices for the athletic coaches, and locker rooms for sports teams, visiting teams, and faculty and staff. There will also be a large training area and a new women’s health office.

“The competition area is going to stay in the same spot, but everything around it is changing.” Rodriguez said. “The softball fields will be renovated, we’re putting in a lacrosse field, we have the footprint available for track and field though we aren’t going to install that yet, and we will have a new soccer field.”

Currently, visitors and opposing athletic teams enter the College from the back side of campus, which appears like a “back door” of sorts, Rodriguez said.

“We want the back area to be as lovely as the front to welcome people because that’s also the only view that some people will have of the College from the Toll Road,” Rodriguez said. “We are going to have a formal entryway with a walkway into the [fenced] fields. It will be a welcoming environment for our guests.”

There will be group exercise rooms so that yoga, pilates and other classes can take place in a separate area. There will also be a deck outside, Rodriguez said.

Head tennis coach Dale Campbell said he was excited about the renovations and additions to Angela.

“With the increased space, it should allow much more convenience in terms of time and greater availability for all of the students, athletes and staff to get a workout in or participate in their favorite sport,” Campbell said. “This facility can be a wonderful additional attraction for Saint Mary’s and also help us to recruit more students and student-athletes.”

Rodriguez said the Board requires 100 percent of the necessary funds to have been pledged and 75 percent of the cash in hand before renovations begin.

“To date, we’ve raised $10,400,000 for the Angela athletic facility,” she said. “The project goal is $14,800,000, but honestly, I want to raise $24,000,000 so we can finish and get [the new additions] up.”

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About Alaina Anderson

Alaina is a Junior at Saint Mary's College and is studying English Writing and Communication Studies. From the warm and exotic state of Wisconsin, she is a professional shower singer, an ambassador for The Elephant Pants, and an avid lover of alliteration.

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