Concordia today announced that the university raised $42.3 million in gifts, pledges and deferred commitments during its Blessed to be a Blessing campaign, the second-largest campaign in the university’s history, which concluded on Dec. 31, 2014.
“We are so grateful for the 12,000-plus alumni and friends of Concordia who made gifts during this campaign,” said Concordia President Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich. “We give thanks to God for these donors who believe so fervently in our mission of equipping men and women to learn, serve and lead in God’s church and world. Such support is truly humbling. Because of their generosity, our students will receive greater financial support and be blessed by enhanced spaces on campus. These blessings further the excellent Christ-centered education that Concordia has provided for more than 120 years.”
The campaign, which had an overall goal of $38 million, sought to raise $6 million for capital projects, $17 million for operations and $15 million for endowment. It surpassed its goals in each of those areas, raising $6.4 million for capital, $19.8 million for operations and $16.1 million for endowment.
Blessed to be a Blessing capital gifts have enabled several key campus projects since 2009, including complete interior renovations of Janzow Campus Center and David Hall, the university’s largest residence hall, installation of a campus-wide wireless network and construction of The C. G. “Kelly” and Virginia Holthus Family Plaza. Campaign capital projects that will be completed by 2016 include renovation of Weller Chapel Auditorium, the site of daily chapel services, guest speakers and theatrical performances; renovation of the Physical Education Building; creation of an outdoor colonnade connecting the university’s athletic facilities; and interior updates to Link Library. In addition, the university continues to upgrade its technological systems to increase performance and capacity.
The largest campaign component, gifts for operations, enabled Concordia to address immediate priorities and provide increased support to its students during the campaign. “These gifts are the lifeblood of the university, directly supporting the day-to-day needs of our students, faculty and staff and our service to the church and world,” said Kurth Brashear, vice president for institutional advancement at Concordia. Operational gifts provide scholarships, enhance campus life, strengthen academic programs and address strategic initiatives.
Endowment gifts received during the campaign enable Concordia to provide competitive financial aid to students, recruit and retain talented faculty and staff, and provide additional resources for university programs.
“The gifts to endowment have such a direct impact, both immediate and ongoing, on our students, making the Concordia experience they so strongly desire affordable,” said Brashear. “Endowment gifts received during Blessed to be a Blessing will provide $415,000 more in support this fall for Concordia students than when the campaign began. Further blessings to our students, faculty and staff from these gifts will be realized in years to come. Thanks be to God!”
Launched on July 1, 2009, Blessed to be a Blessing followed On a Mission, the most successful campaign in university history. Supporters of Concordia have provided more than $105 million in gifts to the university since July 1, 2002, during the two campaigns.
“The results of this campaign demonstrate again how blessed Concordia is, by God and through the generous and widespread support from throughout The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. We cannot thank our brothers and sisters in Christ enough for their partnership in this educational ministry, through their prayers and their financial gifts, both at the congregational level and individually,” said Rev. Dr. John Mehl, director of mission partnerships and church relations at Concordia. “These blessings reach far beyond campus, however, to impact our church and the world. With 28 percent of all rostered workers in Synod holding a Concordia degree, support from Lutherans around the country blesses our congregations and ministries and, through them, the world. Thanks be to God for this partnership in ministry.”
A member institution of the Concordia University System, Concordia, with 1,186 full-time undergraduate students this academic year, is ranked 44th in the “Best Regional Universities—Midwest” category of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings, 2015 edition, its highest-ever ranking.
“Concordia is a Midwestern educational gem, providing a unique, caring, Christ-centered environment,” said Friedrich. “The wonderfully generous support provided by our alumni and friends since 2002 gives us an opportunity to not only equip students with the skills they need to be successful in their chosen careers, but also to discuss and facilitate service, leadership and faith so they can impact others by using their God-given abilities.”