Methodist University celebrated the official end of the Campaign for Methodist University – Building Excellence Oct. 20, 2016. The largest fundraising initiative in the University’s history, the campaign surpassed its $35 million goal and raised a University-record $41,266,820. The final campaign total was announced at the celebration.
“This is a celebration of excellence,” said President Ben Hancock. “If you look at the support that’s come to this campaign, a record number of support, record number of donors, record participation from alumni, faculty and staff, and so many, and then you look at the leadership of this campaign … In part we celebrate the impact that philanthropy has on a culture of excellence. Philanthropy is just a vehicle to be successful to those three platforms of a culture of excellence: people, programs, and facilities.”
Campaign and Board of Trustees Chair Mary Lynn Bryan called the close of the campaign a “wonderful 60th birthday gift” for Methodist.
“We could do this because there was a wonderful opportunity and a very special convergence of need, energy, vision, experience, dedication, and just plain moxie,” she said. “Our University president gave us a lot of it. He is a spectacular leader, visionary, and a terrific fundraiser.”
The campaign raised money for scholarships, endowed faculty positions, academic programs, campus life enhancements, new and renovated academic buildings, and expanded athletic facilities. The capital projects in the campaign include:
The celebration was held in the new Thomas R. McLean Health Sciences Building, one of several construction projects included in the campaign. The building was also formally dedicated at the event. The event included remarks from University trustees and administrators, Student Government Association President Jason Sparrow, and Thomas R. and Elizabeth E. McLean Foundation representative Jennifer Cleveland Elam. The McLean Foundation provided the naming gift for the Health Sciences Building.
This McLean Building is home to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which admitted the first students in the fall of 2015 and is the first doctoral-level program for the University. The Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is slated to begin in fall of 2018 and will also be located in the Health Sciences Building.
The campaign broke many University records, with 4,467 individual donors contributing 19,199 donations.
Other completed projects include the Armstrong Baseball Fieldhouse, which was dedicated on Nov. 14, 2015. Phase 1 of the football campaign was completed in 2015 with the renovation of the weight room and Phase 2 was recently completed over the summer with the locker room addition.
The next projects to begin will be the Gene Clayton Tennis Center, the Sharon and Ron Matthews Ministry Center, and the Union Zukowski Lobby and Gallery. The University plans to break ground on these projects this year.
In addition to bricks and mortar, the campaign also raised money for endowment and operating funds. Many of the goals included in the campaign were related to the Master Plan, a comprehensive 20-year guide for campus growth and development approved in 2012, the first of its kind for the University.
For more information on the Campaign for Methodist University – Building Excellence, contact the Advancement Office at 910.630.7609.