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Update: The Campaign for Franciscan University

Goals achieved include bioethics chair, student scholarships

Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2008

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STEUBENVILLE, OH--The creation of an academic chair that speaks in defense of human life, a new home for the friars, and increased funding for student scholarships.
These are some of the highwater marks reached in Franciscan University of Steubenville's current capital campaign. To date, the campaign has received $16 million in gifts and pledges, an amount that puts it well over halfway toward its $25 million goal.

"These gifts show the enthusiastic support of our alumni, parents, and friends for the mission and important work going on at Franciscan University," said vice president of Advancement Michael Hernon. Their contributions, he said, have enabled the University to move forward with several crucial initiatives:

  1. A $1.5 million gift created Franciscan's first fully-endowed academic chair. The John N. and Jamie D. McAleer Endowed Chair in Bioethics has already sponsored conferences and engaged in spirited debates on human life issues ranging from embryonic stem cell research to human sexuality and abortion.
  2. Donors have honored the sacrifices of the Third Order Regular Friars who founded and run Franciscan University with more than $4 million to fund construction of the new Holy Spirit Friary. You can see the groundbreaking ceremony photos and learn more about the new friary here.
  3. Inspired by Franciscan's leadership in Catholic education and the University's fidelity to the teaching authority of the Church, Lillian Mekus, a retired Ohio school teacher with no connections to Franciscan, left the University a legacy gift of $1.5 million for student scholarships. In total, the campaign has raised over $4 million for student scholarships, just $1 million shy of that campaign goal.

Put in historical terms, Hernon noted that Franciscan University has received more donations to date than were raised in total in the University's previous capital campaign, which ended in 1999.

Much remains to be done to close out the campaign, said Hernon, whose goals encompass:

  • Access to a Franciscan Education: $5 million--To ensure that the Franciscan University experience is financially within reach of all deserving students;

  • Enhancing Academic Life: $11 million--To enhance the teaching excellence at the heart of a thoroughly Catholic Franciscan education with a substantial investment in academics;

  • Enriching Student Life: $9 million--For student life programs that foster personal growth, character development, and a dynamic Catholic faith.

  • Enriching Student Life: $9 million—For student life programs that foster personal growth, character development, and a dynamic Catholic faith.

More information on the Campaign for Franciscan University can be found at and by calling the Advancement Office at 800-783-6447.  To donate online, click here.

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