SJU Kicks off $150 Million Comprehensive Campaign

Friday, October 5, 2007

PHILADELPHIA (October 5, 2007) — Saint Joseph's University will embark on the public phase of the most comprehensive capital campaign in University history — an ambitious $150 million effort focusing on six University priorities.

The University's Board of Trustees officially adopted the campaign goal on Friday, October 5, with a series of on campus kickoff events to follow on October 6-7 — including a groundbreaking for the expansion and renovation of the Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse (home to Hawks' basketball since 1949), and an exclusive black tie gala for University benefactors, friends, faculty and staff. [Click here for a complete schedule of campaign events.] Under the campaign banner With Faith and Strength to Dare: The Campaign for Saint Joseph's University, almost $90 million has been raised to date, with a closing date for the campaign of 2011.

"Our founding values have guided and inspired us for more than 150 years, and the last few decades have seen extraordinary progress — our applicant pool has quadrupled, our physical campus has shown unprecedented improvements, and our academic programs have become stronger and more rigorous," said University President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J.

"This momentum reminds us, however, to prioritize correctly," Fr. Lannon said. "Our values and our momentum have motivated us to articulate a vision to be recognized as the preeminent Catholic comprehensive university in the Northeast. This vision provides the impetus for this first-ever comprehensive campaign."

Campaign priorities include:

The Acquisition of the Episcopal Academy Campus — to be named the James J. Maguire '58 Campus, in honor of alumnus Jim Maguire, retired CEO of the Philadelphia Insurance Companies, who, along with his wife, Frannie, made a $10 million lead gift toward the purchase of the property. The acquisition received a further boost by an additional $10 million lead gift from Brian Duperreault '69, the chairman of Bermuda-based insurer ACE Limited.

The Maguire Campus represents an astounding 58 percent increase to the University's current footprint and adds 286,000 square feet of space, 50 classrooms and 200 offices, eight laboratories, almost 15 acres of playing fields and more than 300 parking spaces.

"With this purchase, the issues associated with an infrastructure stretched to the limit following a more than two-fold increase in the student body are swept away," Fr. Lannon said.

Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse Expansion and Renovation — "The campaign will preserve the home of the Hawks since 1949 while bringing the athletic complex to a level befitting such a venerable tradition," Fr. Lannon said. "And because of the Maguire Campus acquisition, the vast needs of the University's intramural program and several varsity sports will finally be addressed, creating an opportunity to dramatically improve the infrastructure for men's and women's basketball.

The three-phased project will begin with the construction of a two-story, 20,000- square-foot new wing adjacent to the existing Fieldhouse. It will add locker rooms, offices, and study rooms for men's and women's basketball and a new Athletic Hall of Fame room. Phase II will upgrade and renovate the current sports complex by adding a dedicated practice facility with permanent wood flooring as well as locker rooms and offices for soccer, lacrosse, track and cross country. Phase III will include a complete overhaul of the interior of the Fieldhouse, followed by the construction of an upper-level concourse, expanded seating (a minimum of 1,000 seats will be added) and more.

At the conclusion of the expansion and renovation, the Fieldhouse will be renamed for Michael J. Hagan '85. Hagan, chairman and chief executive officer of Horsham-based NutriSystem, Inc., and his wife, Joyce, contributed $10 million as lead benefactors.

Library Learning Commons — The Francis A. Drexel Library is the intellectual — and geographical — heart of the Saint Joseph's campus. Rigor, engagement, and true scholarship are part of the Jesuit mission, and students require more from their library than in the past. They need flexible study space, informal social spaces and a place where technology is available for more than research.

"The model library in the new millennium creates a comfortable and exciting environment where students can collaborate, access resources and relax — in space designed to accommodate personal needs and preferences," Fr. Lannon said.

Recognizing the increasing interdisciplinary nature of teaching and research and the growing importance of group study for student learning, the 37,000-square-foot Library Learning Commons will be a bright, welcoming and flexible space — responding to all learning styles and providing round-the-clock research and technology support. A center for learning and discovery, the facility will also be equipped with generous spaces for displaying works of art from students and prominent artists.

Faculty Support — Historically, Jesuit institutions have prided themselves on teaching excellence and educating the whole person. This is true of Saint Joseph's University, but with an important distinction: Saint Joseph's places a high value on scholarship as well as teaching.

The promise of interdisciplinary collaboration and the opportunity to inspire bright and ambitious students adds even greater value to an already vibrant environment. By 2011, Saint Joseph's will add 52 new tenure-track faculty members, representing a 20 percent increase in the number of faculty — and a number far exceeding the current hiring strategies at comparable institutions.

"These new professors will join the academic community knowing their professional ambitions and innovative ideas will be supported, to include state-of- the-art equipment and labs, endowed chairs and professorships providing stipends for travel and research, office space and informal areas for interaction with peers and with students," Fr. Lannon said.

With additional resources, today's highly respected teacher/scholars will be honored and recognized, and intellectuals from the nation's greatest graduate programs will select Saint Joseph's University to fulfill their scholarly ambitions. Most importantly, resources supporting faculty will benefit Saint Joseph's students in immeasurable ways.

Student Financial Aid — A major consequence of higher costs in higher education is the growing chasm between those who can afford college and those who cannot. With today's college students expecting state-of-the-art technology, world-class academic buildings, well-equipped fitness centers, modern residence halls with varied living options and personal services such as counseling and tutoring, families stretching their own budgets must be met by Saint Joseph's commitment to student learning and success.

An increased endowment for student financial aid will provide the opportunity for more deserving students to attend and be transformed by the Saint Joseph's educational experience.

"Providing need-based and merit-based financial aid is paramount as Saint Joseph's attempts to fulfill its strategic plan, which calls for proclaiming and strengthening the Catholic and Jesuit identity of the University while promoting diversity throughout the institution," Fr. Lannon said.

The Saint Joseph's Fund — The Saint Joseph's Fund is a critical component of With Faith and Strength to Dare: The Campaign for Saint Joseph's University. During this historic fund-raising endeavor, the University will honor dedicated Saint Joseph's Fund donors by including their gifts in the Campaign total.

"Annual gifts help open doors to countless opportunities for Saint Joseph's University students. Because they are unrestricted, these gifts supplement the University's current operating needs," Fr. Lannon said. "Gifts to the Saint Joseph's Fund contribute to the University experience through areas such as scholarships and financial aid, teaching and learning, immersion learning and study abroad programs, and student life and technology enhancements."

Media Contact

 Duffy Ross, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Communications, 610-660-1250, duffy.ross@sju.edu




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