The Aquinian

STU’s capital campaign surpasses mid-way point of $10-million goal

(Caitlin Dutt/AQ)

St. Thomas University has reached 60 per cent of its minimum $10-million funding goal for it’s first “comprehensive” capital campaign.

The capital campaign involves the university asking organizations and alumni for donations to fund scholarship endowments, residence renovations and mental health programs.

The campaign has raised approximately $7.5 million to date, but interim vice-president advancement and alumni relations Jodi Misheal said they’ll “definitely go over” their $10 million goal.

Capital campaigns feature a five year pledge period for donations. STU’s pledge period began on Jan. 1, 2016 and will end on Dec. 31, 2020.

Misheal said all of the money a donor gives will go directly to the part of the campaign the donor pledges the money for.

STU has held small capital campaigns in previous years to raise money for building Margaret Norrie McCain Hall and Brian Mulroney Hall, but this is the university’s largest funding campaign to date.

Misheal said former vice-president advancement Jeff Wright started planning for the capital campaign three years ago.

“[When] Jeff left the university, we were kind of in a waiting period to see what was going to happen and so we turned that period of time into the silent phase,” Misheal said, adding that the silent phase helps with “winning it on paper” — planning and engaging with alumni and friends of the university for funding.

“In the silent phase, you want to put those things into place, but also raise at least 60 per cent of your campaign objective before you do the big ta-dah moment,” Misheal said.

But that big ta-dah moment won’t arrive until the fall, when the university plans to officially announce the capital campaign.

“When we do the big ta-dah moment it’s to say, “This is the campaign and this is the total we’re trying to raise and we’re at this amount’ and then [we] just continue on with the work to make sure the rest of [the money] comes in.”

The university has already made announcements related to the capital campaign, including the $300,000 funding from former premier Frank McKenna for STU’s moot court program and the announcement of two new research chairs in 2017.

The university is happy to have surpassed the mid-way point in the campaign, but they’re continuing to work in the quiet phase until the fall announcement.

“We are continuing to work in the silent phase, which is not as silent as it was,” Misheal said.

“When we do announce it, it will be the city’s worst kept secret.”

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Next: STU Senate Briefs March 15, 2018