BGSU has told its students to “dream big,” and when, in 2002, the University set a goal of raising $120 million, it was a high standard that many felt would be unattainable. But the dream became a reality: BGSU received $146,533,152 in gifts and commitments during the Building Dreams Centennial fund-raising campaign that ended Dec. 31 The total surpassed the goal by more than $26 million and makes the campaign the largest private fund-raising effort in northwest Ohio history.
More than 70,000 alumni and friends donated. Together they helped establish 540 new scholarships, 13 endowed professorships, two endowed chairs and two teaching-excellence coaching awards. The Sebo Center was funded and built as part of the campaign, and funds are earmarked for the Wolfe Center for the Arts, the Stroh Center and for sustaining the University. Other priority projects of the campaign included the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the President’s Leadership Academy.
The campaign, which was started quietly in July 2002, was announced publicly in April 2005 after more than $75 million had been pledged. In August 2006, the campaign reached the $100 million mark.
“This has been an amazing journey for BGSU and our alumni and friends who contributed to make the Building Dreams campaign a success,” said President Carol A. Cartwright. She also credited co-chairs Kerm Stroh and Ron Whitehouse for their strong leadership skills throughout the campaign.
“We started this campaign during a difficult economic time, and we ended it during more economic strife,” said Stroh. “Yet we persevered. Our loyal alumni and friends realize that investing in the University is a sound investment. Today we congratulate the entire campus community for their hard work.”
“We are thrilled with the incredible response to the campaign initiatives from our alumni and friends,” said Marcia Sloan Latta, campaign director and senior associate vice president for University advancement.
“It is clear that people believe in the mission of BGSU and the positive impact that higher education has on the lives of our students and in the community. It has been a joy to work with so many generous people who are funding these scholarships, buildings and programs,” Latta added.
“We are very pleased with the results from this fund-raising effort,” said J. Douglas Smith, vice president for University advancement and president of the BGSU Foundation Inc. “However, our mission to advance BGSU is ongoing. The current difficult economic times mean that support for student scholarships is needed now more than ever.
“As we move into our second century of education excellence, we will continue our efforts to keep a BGSU education affordable and accessible,” Smith said.