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Saint Mary’s campaign raises $25 million over goal

| Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Saint Mary’s concluded its comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Faith Always, Action Now,” after surpassing the initial goal and raising $105 million, making it the most successful fundraising campaign in the College’s 171-year history.

Vice president for College Relations Shari Rodriguez said the campaign idea originated from the plan College President Carol Ann Mooney’s devised in 2008, which outlined the goals of the College for the next five years.

President Mooney’s strategic plan prioritized renovations in the College’s Science Hall and Angela Athletic Facility as well as student scholarships, Rodriguez said. The Board of Trustees deliberated and determined in order to implement the plan, the College needed to secure funding through a fundraiser, Rodriguez said.

Before the campaign’s launch, the Board of Trustees determined how feasible the fundraiser would be by gauging the interest of alumnae and friends of the College.

“The feasibility report really showed the passion that donors had for the College,” Rodriguez said. “Little did we know, how difficult things were going to be financially at the time. [In 2008] when the campaign began, the recession wasn’t fully realized yet.”

Despite the difficult launch of the campaign, “Faith Always, Action Now” raised a record amount of money is the College’s history. Rodriguez said the campaign was a success because the donors recognized their contributions help further the education of current and future Saint Mary’s women.

“Our goal was to create opportunities for students through scholarships and to support the educational environment and faculty,” Rodriguez said. “That was our driving motivation and we persevered. We continued to talk about the amazing education that young women get here and the need to make certain that it’s accessible financially.”

Rodriguez said the College’s mission remained on the forefront of the campaign while the heritage of the Sisters of the Holy Cross guided it through the entire process.

“Saint Mary’s continues to answer the need of society, which hearkens back to the Holy Cross Sisters,” she said. “They assessed the need and answered the call to lead women’s education, which is exactly what our graduate programs are doing today.”

The campaign also facilitated the addition of three new graduate programs to Saint Mary’s curriculum beginning in fall of 2015. The programs are a Doctorate of Nursing Practice, a Master of Science in Data Science and a Master of Science in Speech Pathology.

To continue to educate women, no matter their financial status, “Faith Always, Action Now” set of a goal of $20 million for student scholarships, Rodriguez said. The college surpassed that goal by $15 million, raising a total of $35 million for future students.

“One thing that has been made clear through the great recession is that we are called to make certain that young women can be educated in a Catholic liberal arts tradition,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t think there’s any better place than at Saint Mary’s to get that education. So we really want to create that access for the future.”

Rodriguez said “Faith Always, Action Now” can be attributed to the hard work of the College’s president as well as the great education already offered at Saint Mary’s.

“The success of the campaign is in part because of the great leadership of President Mooney and a solid strategic plan,” she said. “But the [campaign’s success] also highlights the education that is offered here. Donors believe the strength of the educational experience here is worthy of the investments they have made.”

The campaign celebration is scheduled for April 17. All the donors who have given to Saint Mary’s will be invited to campus to celebrate and watch the groundbreaking of the new soccer, softball and lacrosse fields.

Rodriguez said the College appreciates the donors who have helped to make this the most successful campaign in Saint Mary’s history and who continue to build the College’s legacy through new programs and facilities.

“We are so grateful to the donors who believe in the mission here and have supported the College to continuously educate women,” Rodriguez said.

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About Haleigh Ehmsen

A senior at Saint Mary's, Haleigh is majoring in Communication Studies and English Literature & Writing. She serves as the Saint Mary's editor and enjoys coffee, guacamole and good books.

Contact Haleigh