Fund raiser makes history

The largest fundraising effort in the history of the university is gaining momentum with the completion of several phase one projects.

With the constant growth on campus, administrators recognized the need for additional space and began planning a method of execution.

Vice President for Development Brent Davison is responsible for executing the fundraising efforts of the campaign along with President Dr. Randy O’Rear.

“We knew that in order to move forward with the Campus Master Plan, we would need to raise funds. We started with funds that had been raised and set aside over a period of years. Then we began new fundraising efforts. As we looked at the needs in terms of what we needed to raise, we determined that we needed to raise money for capital as well as a focus on endowment and scholarships,” Davison said.

Freshman Victoria Camenisch participated in the annual phonathon, which aided in the Momentum Campaign. Photo by Katelyn Holm/The Bells.

Five years ago, the university began working on a strategic plan and campus master plan. The latter calls for more than $100 million in new construction.

Momentum: The Campaign for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor seeks to raise $60 million for a variety of campus projects, setting the goal above previous efforts by the university to raise funds.

“We determined we needed a nursing education center, a new visual arts building, student union building, band hall, an expansion of the field house and a new football stadium. Once phase one projects were completed, we then could move to phase two projects, such as adding a new performing arts center and moving the offices of the Physical Plant to a location on the edge of the campus,” Davison said.

With substantial challenge grants, the nursing building will encourage growth of the program.

Sophomore nursing major Allison Toy anticipates the coming changes, knowing it will benefit her academics.

“I’m looking forward to the new nursing building because it means more space, nicer classrooms and awesome labs …. I know the new building will have accommodations that will make things easier and more fun for us nursing majors.”

From June 2010 to May 2012, less than $35 million was raised for development. In May, the board of trustees approved the launch of Momentum, and since then, the fundraiser has generated more than $4 million in gifts and pledges, adding to the growing total.

“It’s exciting, invigorating. UMHB has been tremendously blessed by a number of dear friends that have stepped forward with some significant lead gifts to the campaign. In addition to that, it takes a broad base of donors to help us meet the objective,” Davison said.

The vast majority of the gifts come from alumni, friends, corporations and foundations. The comprehensive effort allows donors to give to any cause at the university, even those not specified in the strategic or campus master plans.

Freshman cell biology major Victoria Camenisch helps by phoning alumni and informing them of the things happening at the university.

“I tell alumni about the campaign, all of the completed projects and the things to come. We ask them to become momentum builders …. It’s so cool hearing from people who have graduated even before 1950. Their stories of how the university has developed since their time here is really awesome. To be able to tell them about the future and learn from their past is my favorite part of the whole experience.”

Students, faculty and staff have shown support for the campus and look forward to seeing more projects continue being completed.

Toy said, “I feel honored to be a student during all of this development, especially the Momentum Campaign. It’s cool to see so many new buildings being built on campus, and they’re not just buildings. They’re places I’ll probably spend the majority of my time during the next couple years. I’m grateful for all the donors who are making these new buildings possible.”

Author: Katelyn Holm

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