College kicks off "Ever Higher" campaign
$36-million of a $40-million campaign already raised
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 09:09
Images courtesy AV Services & Westminster College
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- The campus buzzed with excitement on Friday with a massive all-campus picnic in the Quad focused on celebrating the new Westminster fundraising campaign. The Tub and dining halls closed for the event steering the campus population to the celebration that included the revelation of a closely guarded secret. That secret was revealed prior earlier inside Wallace Memorial Chapel.
Students, faculty & staff crowded into the chapel where the administration rolled out the details of the Ever Higher campaign. The fundraising effort wants to secure the financial future of Westminster by raising $40-million. That money will enhance capital improvements and bolster the institutions endowment.
While a big kick off and campus picnic marked the official beginning of the race to raise $40-million, college officials revealed their secret. They explained they have a massive head start. Westminster broke previous fundraising records with $36-million already raised.
"This is our time and opportunity to elevate Westminster College to greater prominence by investing in our students, faculty, facilities, and programs," President Rick Dorman said. "This is Westminster's time to rise ever higher."
The excitement generated by the surprise announcement of the $36-million currently raised comes when the campus is struggling with a budget shortfall. The campus saw a drop in enrollment this year along with the loss of some returning students. It means Westminster's annual operating budget took a significant hit by a few million dollars. The Class of 2011 left campus in May as largest in Westminster history. However, the incoming Class of 2016 fell short of enrollment goals.
The administration embraces the Ever Higher campaign as a way to turn the corner and promote a brighter future for student through scholarships, faculty development and updating facilities. They hope this investment will improve recruiting and enrollment.
"The dollars we have raised are already working to support the brick and mortar projects," Development Director Gloria Cagigas said. "We've already had the Patterson Hall renovations and there's second phase of Berlin Village. We have also raised quite a few million dollars to support our student scholarships and to support faculty."
Cagigas says alumni comign out strong to support this campaign that is student-centered.
"The alumni are very concerned about how the College advances. The campaign is in a sense all about the students. The scholarships are for the students. The money going to programs is for them. The funding for faculty development and buildings helps their learning and experiences."
President Dorman also explained that some special donors have come through with major donations to boost this effort so early.