Barry McNamara  |   Published July 15, 2015

Campaign goal exceeded

‘Fulfilling the Promise’ closes at $78 million; Monmouth Fund breaks record at $2 million
Monmouth College closed the books on the largest capital campaign in its history while simultaneously reaching two lofty fundraising accomplishments. At the public kickoff of the college’s “Fulfilling the Promise” comprehensive campaign in 2013, a goal of $75 million was announced. The campaign officially closed on June 30 at $78.15 million.   “As we report the successful conclusion of the ‘Fulfilling the Promise’ campaign, you will see many impressive numbers,” said Monmouth College president Clarence R. Wyatt. “But the real power of those numbers lies in the thousands of stories of commitment to the mission of Monmouth College. Each of those gifts has ‘paid forward’ the profound change that Monmouth made in the lives of these donors.”   Campaign chair Fred Wackerle, a 1961 Monmouth graduate, and Bill Goldsborough ’65, chairman of the board of trustees, praised the work of the fundraising staff. “I am grateful for the outstanding campus development team’s leadership of the ‘Fulfilling The Promise’ campaign,” said Wackerle. “This record-setting fundraising accomplishment is testimony for ‘Monmouth’s magic’ and will enhance our strong four-year student experience.”   “The campaign was a great success, in large part, due to the strong efforts of our development staff,” agreed Goldsborough. “The end result will be twofold: we will be able to sustain and enhance important academic initiatives to increase student engagement while initiating an endowment fund for student financial aid and scholarships to make Monmouth more affordable.”   The good news didn’t stop there, as a challenge issued seven years ago by the college’s board of trustees was reached three years ahead of schedule. During the 2014-15 fiscal year, the college raised more than $2 million through its Monmouth Fund. When that fund first reached the $1 million milestone in 2008, the trustees called for it to be doubled in 10 years.   The Monmouth Fund total was $2.06 million, with nearly 3,500 donors contributing. “The Monmouth Fund provides crucial flexibility to the college’s budget,” said Hannah Maher, MC’s director of alumni engagement. “A vibrant Monmouth Fund allows for innovation, while also supporting the most fundamental elements of the college experience. We are overjoyed with the thousands of loyal supporters who chose to contribute to the college this year.”   Additionally, Monmouth posted its second-highest single-year fundraising total, closing with $11.26 million in new gifts. Bolstered by an $8.1 million trustee challenge, which included a single gift of $5.25 million, the “Fulfilling the Promise” campaign allowed the college to move forward on a number of initiatives, including establishing three new faculty development funds and three new undergraduate research funds; creating two new named professorships and one new endowed chair; and establishing three new study-abroad funds.   The college’s nationally-recognized Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research (MJUR) was one of the initiatives funded by the campaign. Students, such as senior Jade Luthy of Cuba, Ill., solicit and edit scholarly articles from around the nation for the multidisciplinary journal. “The experience is a professional application of the skills we have been building throughout our college education,” said Luthy, an English major. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work outside of my discipline with a team of skilled peers, and I’ve gained team-working and organizational skills.”   Through the campaign, more than $8 million was raised for new scholarships and $15 million was raised for current operations. “The scholarships that I have received have allowed me the opportunity to find my home away from home,” said Neriangela “Neddy” Velez, a junior business administration and wellness administration major from Chicago. “With six different jobs over the years, athletics, intercultural life, Greek life, two majors and a minor (Spanish), I can truly say that I have experienced what college was meant to be. Without scholarships, this would not be possible.”   Physical improvements made possible by the campaign included the construction of the $42 million Center for Science and Business; the new Pi Beta Phi sorority house, which is under construction; renovations to April Zorn Memorial Stadium and eight other facilities; and securing land for an educational market farm. Additionally, an endowed Presbyterian Leadership fund for the college’s Lux Center for Church and Religious Leadership was established. Angela Baumann, a sophomore from Dubuque, Iowa, is grateful for the opportunities the Lux Center provides.   “As a Presbyterian Scholar, I have benefited from an unbelievably wide range of opportunities – a retreat to Camp Stronghold, meeting and holding discussions with nationally-known leaders such as Eboo Patel and the Rev. Margaret Aymer, and an interfaith immersion trip in Chicago during spring break. These are experiences that play a role in shaping who I am here.”   “I’ve met so many great people not only through the program on campus, but through talking to alumni and representing the Presbyterian Scholars for the board of trustees,” said Sophie Slocum, a sophomore from Marengo. “I’ve been given leadership roles that will put me at an advantage when it comes to graduate school and the job search. I appreciate all those involved with funding the program and keeping it running.”   Concluded President Wyatt, “The success of the ‘Fulfilling the Promise’ campaign provides a strong foundation for the college as we think anew and act anew in creating an even greater Monmouth College.”  
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