College announces funding campaign

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - Updated: 9:24 am

Pittsburgh Catholic Staff Report

Saint Vincent College leaders announced the public phase of a $100 million comprehensive fundraising campaign Dec. 1 at Heinz Field.

“We are committed to making Saint Vincent College the nation’s leader in experiential learning through the integration of the humanities and cutting-edge technology,” said Benedictine Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, chancellor.

Inspired by the philosophy of its founder, Abbot Boniface Wimmer, “Forward, Always Forward, the Campaign for St. Vincent” will raise funds for building projects, program development, student support and endowment.

“For more than 170 years, Saint Vincent College has educated students in the Catholic, Benedictine tradition of the liberal arts and sciences, a tradition that focuses on personal fulfillment and a meaningful life through professional achievement and service to the community,” Archabbot Nowicki said.

The committed faculty have helped the college earn a national reputation for the rigor of its programs and the success of his alumni, he added.

“The rapid technological changes of our digital age have a profound impact on how we prepare our students for the ethical challenges and opportunities they will face in shaping a better world,” the archabbot said.

J. Christopher Donahue, president and CEO of Federated Investors Inc. and chairman of the Saint Vincent College Board of Directors, is co-chair of the campaign with his wife, Ann. The goal of the campaign, he noted, is to raise money and finish strong by May 2020.

“This is an ambitious goal,” he said. “$100 million will help position Saint Vincent College with even stronger scholarship and financial aid resources, and with buildings and programs that continue to reflect the Benedictine tradition that differentiates our college and prepares our graduates to make a real and positive difference in a challenging world — through hard work, morality, skill and service.”

Saint Vincent’s president, Benedictine Brother Norman Hipps, said that four major construction projects in Latrobe totaling $40 million are in the plan. They include the $5.7 million James F. Will Engineering and Biomedical Sciences Hall, which opened Nov. 16. Other projects include the expansion of the library as a humanities and technology education center, technology updates for Alfred Hall classrooms, and the Robert S. Carey Student Center and dining expansion to include a student life and community center.

“$20 million is earmarked to strengthen current programs including the Students First Fund, the Fred Rogers Center, academic and support services and student life resources, athletics, recreation and wellness,” he added. “The college is seeking $40 million for its endowment to expand access and opportunity through scholarships; maintaining a strong faculty to enhance academic programs and scholarly activities.”

In noting the Students First Fund, Brother Norman pointed out that it reflects the college’s commitment to students in need. Some 40 percent of freshmen this year, he said, are first-generation students, whose parents lack a college degree.

The campaign has already raised $67 million in gifts and pledges toward its $100 million goal during its silent phase. Archabbot Nowicki noted that it moves forward in confidence, bolstered by the success of the initial phase.

The support that Saint Vincent has received in this first phase of the campaign has been transformational and reflects the resounding affirmation of the enduring values and mission of the college, he said. It also highlights the essential role it plays in all of higher education, locally, nationally and internationally.

Saint Vincent is nationally recognized for the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, Sis and Herman Dupre Science Pavilion, Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government and the Kennametal Center for Operation Excellence. For the past 52 summers, it has welcomed fans to campus for the preseason training camp of the Steelers.

“We believe that Saint Vincent College is a great place to lay a foundation for a football season, or for the rest of your life as a student,” said Arthur Rooney II, team president and co-owner of the Steelers, and a member of the college’s board.

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