Mount Union College Launches Drive for Distinction Fundraising Campaign

April 16, 2010

Mount Union College is launching the public phase of an $80 million fund-raising effort known as Drive for Distinction, effective September 20.

According to Mount Union President Richard Giese, the campaign has already been responsible for more than $53 million raised in gifts and pledges, and Giese is optimistic that the $80 million goal can be surpassed by the closing date of December 2010.

'Mount Union has an enviable record of success in fund-raising campaigns,' Giese said. 'We are fortunate to have constituents and donors who are philanthropic and know the importance of higher education.'

The Board of Trustees authorized Drive for Distinction with the intent of funding a number of necessary capital projects while adding to the endowment. The most visible result of the early campaign is Bracy Hall, an 87,000-square-foot facility for the natural sciences that was funded primarily by more than $17 million in gifts.

The recent renovations to the Hoover-Price Campus Center as well as 63 endowed scholarships are also attributed to the campaign. Moreover, in the past five years the

College's endowment has grown from $119 million to $144 million.

'We are proud of Mount Union College and what it offers our students,' Giese said. 'This campaign will position us to provide an even better education and open more doors for our students as they enter an increasingly competitive world after graduation.'

The campaign reflects the six strategic initiatives that are currently guiding the institution ' develop a curriculum for the future, improve the residential nature of the campus, manage enrollment growth, expand the diversity of the campus, ensure fiscal strength and enhance visibility and reputation.

Among the improvements that were completed this fall were apartment-style housing along Hartshorn Street and Union Avenue and athletic field and locker room improvements. With future funding, the College intends to add to its health and wellness facilities, construct a welcome center and provide plans to improve the College's fine arts facilities.

'The capital improvements are always visible to the public and create the 'wow' factor,' said James Piatt, vice president for advancement. 'What is less visible but crucial to the success of the campaign are the gifts that support the endowment and annual operations of the College, which take the form of scholarships, endowed professorships and program support.'

Drive for Distinction's $80 million goal marks the most ambitious campaign in the history of the College. The previous Progress with Tradition campaign, which reached its successful conclusion in 1999, raised more than $60 million.

'We will need a significant number of major gifts to be successful by 2010,' Giese said. 'Given Mount Union's track record in major campaigns, I am confident our alumni, friends and area foundations will assure that our students continue to receive the best that higher education can offer.'

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