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Saint Mary’s reaches fundraising goal early

| Monday, August 25, 2014

In May, the Saint Mary’s “Faith Always, Action Now” campaign announced it reached its initial $80 million goal several months ahead of schedule.

Vice president for college relations Shari Rodriguez said the Board of Trustees decided to raise the goal to $90 million soon after the $80 million mark was reached, and the campaign will officially conclude on December 31, 2014.

“Meeting and exceeding our original campaign goal several months early is a sure sign of the enthusiastic commitment and loyalty of our alumnae and friends,” College president Carol Ann Mooney said in a press release. “I am confident that our new goal of $90 million will also be attained allowing us to complete designated campaign projects.

“At the conclusion of the ‘Faith Always, Action Now’ campaign, Saint Mary’s will be in a stronger position to fulfill the dreams of our founders, the Sisters of the Holy Cross.”

Director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said the Board of Trustees approved the campaign in June 2008 and was publicly launched in February 2013.

Rodriguez said this is only the third major fundraising campaign in Saint Mary’s history.

“Prior to ‘Faith Always, Action Now,’ the Excel Campaign [from] 1981 [to] 1986 raised over $25 million for several projects including construction of the Cushwa-Leighton Library and renovations of the Haggar College Center and Science Hall,” she said. “From 1991-1998, the Sesquicentennial Campaign raised nearly $32 million for College priorities ranging from scholarships and faculty positions to information technology and the annual fund.”

Beyond the Excel and Sesquicentennial campaigns, several individual project campaigns funded a number of major facilities including the Student Center, Spes Unica Hall and the Welcome Center, Rodriguez said.

Up to this point, the money raised has gone towards scholarships, an endowed professorship in nursing, construction of the Science Hall Greenhouse, endowed summer science research communities and four faculty awards recognizing excellence in teaching, scholarship, service and mentorship, she said.

“We hope to provide enhanced opportunities for students in the form of financial aid, research opportunities, study abroad, cutting edge curricular options and much more,” she said. “A stronger endowment … is the key to the College’s long-term health.”

Rodriguez said the campaign money will also be used to renovate and upgrade Angela Athletic Facility and Wellness Complex, the Science Hall and the Cushwa-Leighton Library.

Saint Mary’s alumna, Dr. Susan Fitzgerald Rice and her husband, Dr. Don Rice, a Notre Dame alumnus, announced a challenge grant for the renovation and expansion of the Angela Athletic & Wellness Complex, according to a press release. The Rices will match $1 for every $2 pledged up to $1 million, thus yielding $3 million for the project. Fitzgerald Rice is a tri-chair of the ‘Faith Always, Action Now’ campaign and a former member of the Board of Trustees.

“A focus on the ‘whole woman’ has always been foremost at Saint Mary’s,” Fitzgerald Rice said in the press release. “Women today embrace an even more active and healthy lifestyle. The current facility, constructed in 1977, does not meet the needs of today’s students. The College’s plan to renovate the Angela Athletic & Wellness Complex will enhance the experience of every Saint Mary’s student.”

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About Kelly Konya

Kelly Konya is an English major bred on Catcher in the Rye and Roman cornettos.

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