Brescia Receives $500,000 Grant from the James Graham Brown Foundation

Brescia University has received a grant of $500,000 from the James Graham Brown Foundation in Louisville, KY to expand and support the continued growth of the Marilyn Younger-Conley School of Social Work, potentially impacting thousands of lives.  Brescia University will utilize the awarded funds to help construct a new academic building that will house the School of Social Work, to grow endowment funds, and to hire faculty to fully launch the new Master of Social Work program.

Enrollment in Brescia’s School of Social Work has grown by 800 percent over the past eight years. The University has offered a traditional, on-ground Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) degree since 2004 and an online BSW degree since 2009. In 2016, an online Master of Social Work (MSW) degree was launched. These three programs represent 483 students at Brescia, 37% of total enrollment, and the numbers are anticipated to rise as the need for social workers in United States continues to increase.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor reported in 2014 that the need for social workers will grow by 12 percent before 2024; specifically, the necessity of mental health, substance abuse, and healthcare social workers will grow by 19 percent.  Brescia will expand its resources to support the needs of students and faculty and to address the growing demand for trained social workers regionally and nationally.

The extension of the School of Social Work made possible by the James Graham Brown Foundation will allow the institution to produce hundreds more qualified graduates annually to address pressing social problems, thus serving hundreds, if not thousands, of Kentuckians and more.

The “Gateway to Our Second Century” project at Brescia University includes the construction of a new academic building that will house the Marilyn Younger-Conley School of Social Work.  The construction project will provide space and place for the 15 plus full-time faculty members who lead the programs, modern technology-based classrooms for hybrid and blended course offerings, and a digital studio for innovative learning that will facilitate cutting edge teaching and learning techniques for online and traditional learners.  The $500,000 grant from the James Graham Brown Foundation grant will support building construction, a federal matching grant for technology maintenance, and social work program expansion costs.

“We are happy and honored to receive the support of the James Graham Brown Foundation.  Their partnership in our future growth is a tremendous nod of recognition to the quality and uniqueness of our program.  It is an honor to be included among their many philanthropic initiatives,” says Fr. Larry Hostetter, Brescia University President.  “Brescia University has long history of being adept and nimble in its ability to read the sign of the times, understand societal needs, and respond accordingly through education.  This grant allows us to continue to do just that in a very impactful way.”

The James Graham Brown Foundation strives to execute Mr. Brown’s vision of Kentucky as a national leader by cultivating progress and civic pride through philanthropic investments to promote the image of Kentucky and Louisville and the well-being of its citizens.  Since incorporation, the Foundation has awarded nearly 3,000 grants in Kentucky totaling more than $535,000,000 in the areas of education, economic development and health.

The foundation offers a higher education competitive grants program that focus on one of the three following areas: 21st Century Jobs, Niche Projects or Programs, and Capacity Building.

Applications are being accepted for fall enrollment in both the on-ground and online Bachelor of Social Work programs and for the online Master of Social Work program.  For more information, please visit or call 1-877-BRESCIA.