Students, faculty and staff joined alumni and community partners on campus Saturday night to celebrate the kickoff of a $10 million capital campaign for the university. “The Campaign for Brescia University: Gateway to Our Second Century” will take place over the next five years and the funding will provide for many enhancements to the campus.
And attendees had every reason to celebrate as Brescia President, Father Larry Hostetter, revealed that nearly $6.6 million dollars has already been pledged to the campaign.
“For the last century, Brescia University has served as a powerful force for good through the unique educational experience that we call the “Brescia Difference.” As a result, our alumni were equipped to provide for their families and give back to their communities through rewarding careers and lives of service. As we stand at the Gateway of our Second Century, the Campaign for Brescia University will ensure that we continue to serve our students in the spirit of our Ursuline founders, providing current and future generations with a rich educational experience and empowering them to meet the needs of future years.”
The vision that drives the campaign comes as a result of long conversations with faculty, staff and students and will seek to meet the current needs of the institution, as well as position Brescia to excel in the years to come.
A Master Plan set forth by the Board of Trustees, the President and his Cabinet, as well as a Steering Committee outlines a strategic plan to address the enrollment growth and the needs of modern day learning. The campaign will support the construction of a new structure on campus and the renovation of current buildings.
The new building on the corner of Frederica and 9th street will house the Schools of Education, Business and Social Work. It will also feature innovative classrooms and technology centers, a Digital Studio for Innovative Learning, a modern art gallery, community theatre space and much more. The building will give a new face to the university and serve as a landmark for the entrance to downtown Owensboro.
With the increase of the number of students on campus, a critical piece of the master plan addresses renovations to the Campus Center and Residence Halls. The 26-year-old Campus Center will house an expanded cafeteria and modern exercise and wellness center with the goal to create a vibrant center for student life and leadership education.
Properties on 7th Street and St. Ann Street will be transformed to create a craftsman style village that will offer premium housing options for upper classmen. The plan will also offer cosmetic updates to currently outdated residence halls so they might be more appealing to new students.
Contributors to the planning of the campaign look to the new journey for the university as a way of solidifying Brescia’s place in the future of higher education in the Greater Owensboro Community.
“The Owensboro/Daviess County community is truly blessed to have Brescia University as a cornerstone in the education and development of future leaders,” stated Joseph D. Moore, Executive Vice President and CFO of Vanguard Health Systems who has already pledged a donation to the campaign. “As a Brescia graduate and member of the Board of Trustees, I have seen firsthand the unparalleled dedication of the faculty, staff and administration that makes this University great. It is upon this foundation that I enthusiastically support “The Campaign for Brescia University, Gateway to Our Second Century” fundraising efforts.”
The night celebrated the rich tradition of the institution’s history, rooted in the Ursuline Legacy and in its origin in Mount Saint Joseph Junior College for Women. As a tribute to the foundation of the university, guests enjoyed an alfresco dining experience that featured a modern street fair made up of flavors representing important pieces of the history provided by local downtown partners.
Faculty, Staff, Alumni and students alike took to the stage throughout the night to share their part of Brescia’s story and to celebrate the pledges that have been made to the campaign, thanking those that have laid a significant foundation for the university’s future.
“The Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation’s Board of Trustees readily committed to Brescia’s Campaign for the Second Century as they are confident in the University’s leadership and vision. Our support of Brescia has been steadfast through the decades and we are dedicated to the success of this new chapter in Brescia’s history,” stated Sara Hemingway, Executive Director of The Marilyn and William Young Foundation. The organization presented a check to Father Larry Hostetter representing their first installment of a significant gift.
The university will work to raise the remaining $3.5 million to complete the campaign over the next five years, seeking to enable the institution to be reborn, renewed and prepared to meet the needs of the 21st century and beyond.
The campaign comes on the heels of a 10 percent increase in enrollment from last fall and the highest fall enrollment in 46 years for the university, the second highest in the school’s history.
“The future is bright in this community because of Brescia University. The future is bright because of the students who have attended the college and received a liberal arts education. I can tell you today, that I have every confidence in the world that the future of our children and our children’s children will be brighter than the future we experienced all because of institutions like Brescia and the opportunity to gain an education that is unparalleled throughout this state, throughout this nation and dare I say throughout the world,” stated Honorable Al Mattingly, Daviess County Judge Executive and Brescia Alum.