St. Scholastica reaches $62.6 million fundraising goal but still has $1 million more to go
Additional funds will be needed to see new student center project through to completion due to rising costs.
DULUTH — The College of St. Scholastica recently announced it has completed the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history, amassing $62.6 million in support five months ahead of schedule. But it will need to raise the bar by yet another $1 million in order to cover the rising projected cost of building a new student center.
St. Scholastica launched its campaign, dubbed “A Second Century of Saints,” in 2014 with a stated goal of raising $50 million. But the finish line continued to move when the college tacked an additional $12.6 million onto its mark in 2021, as the drive was extended. The anticipated finish date was June 30 of this year.
“Even as economic challenges emerged, our donors provided amazing support that led to this accomplishment," St. Scholastica President Barbara McDonald said.
In a statement, campaign co-chair Chris Dolan, a 2001 alum, said the drive will not only strengthen the college, but more importantly, will “support our students by enhancing the St. Scholastica experience, expanding access and ensuring success.”
In addition to supporting the construction of a new $17.5 million student center, the funds also will fund $5 million in student scholarships.
McDonald noted the work’s not finished, however.
“Even though our overall goal has been reached, we still need to raise $1 million for the student center to fully fund the project. Additionally, scholarships and emerging needs to support student access and affordability will continually be a priority,” she said in a statement.
"Reaching the goal early in a campaign provides momentum for increasing the total. We hope it is an encouragement for those who have been considering gifts to join us in creating an excellent experience for our students,” said Vice President for College Advancement Chris Mueller.
Campaign co-chair Mimi Stender said plans for the long-anticipated student center have generated a lot of excitement.
“Being able to commit to this project, after many years of dreaming about it, is wonderful, and we are so thankful that our Saints community believes in the importance of this campaign with us,” she said in a statement.
Mueller earlier told the News Tribune the project will involve not only the construction of a new 17,050-square-foot student center attached to Mitchell Auditorium, but also the creation of a landscaped outdoor gathering space St. Scholastica will refer to as its “campus quad.”
“We have students who live on campus 24/7, and they don’t really have a gathering community space that makes the college experience whole. So, having a place that students can call their own — not just some nook and cranny — is really important,” he said.
“The building was intentionally designed with students first,” Mueller said. “Student government will be there. It will house student activity offices, the campus ministry and large gathering and study spaces. There also will be some sort of cafe or coffee shop concept that’s still being finalized. It’s just going to provide that focal point and centerpoint the college needs.”