Millersville soars to $88 million

Zachary Staab
Assoc. News Editor

The Soar to Greatness Campaign, which ended on December 31, 2012, officially raised $88 million dollars. The camping began in June 2006, and outlined eight money raising initiatives. Millersville raised the campaign goal to $85 million in May 2010, making it the most extensive fundraiser campaign for any PASSHE school. Of the $88 million, 60 percent ($52.5 million) were gifts from private individuals, corporations, and state/federal grants. 40 percent ($35.5 million) of the $88 million was raised by the Commonwealth through a “total revenue generation” initiative that relied on matching Commonwealth dollars.
“The university needed to match state support for the library, Ware Center, and other facilities mainly through gift support,” said Jerry Eckert, Vice President of Advancement. Revenues were also generated through phone calls , house visits,advertisements, meetings, and by responding to major written proposals.
The first of 23 cabinet meeting for the Soar to Greatness Campaign was held on June 9, 2006. The cabinet consisted of 32 “alumni, friends, business leaders , and faculty,” said Eckert. “They were involved in the direction of the campaign, direct fundraising, dollar goals, theme logos, and of course individual support.” Eckert noted that cabinet members were guided with “day to day” support from staff members making business calls, conducting research, submitting writing proposals, and arranging meetings. Assistance from employees can also be seen through the 648 employees (present and retired) who contributed by donating $3.65 million.
A portion of the donations will help fund:
• More than $21.7 million from private donations and state support gifted to the visual and performing arts priority providing present and future students with quality facilities such as the Ware and Winter centers and its programming.
• $5.8 million secured in grants promote faculty-student research.
• A $1.5 million competitive federal grant that provided scholarships for students interested in teaching math in urban school districts.
• A $800,000 gift establishing the first endowed academic program in Entrepreneurial studies.
• A $500,000 gift to support the purchase of instructional equipment to greatly enhance student learning for a variety of facilities across the University including the sciences and the performing arts.
Most of the donation money is being spent on the universities eight objectives, but the spoending of some money has not been determined yet.
“$1 million unrestricted gifts by donors allow the university to decides direction and generally goes to scholarships for students,” Eckert said.
The university annually receives smaller donations through scholarships, but a larger campaign effort is not currently in the planning. Eckert suggested that a “breathing period” must be utilized before making plans to start an extensive campaign.