If Graceland is experiencing a facility Renaissance, then the new Graceland Forever Capital Campaign ready for launch this fall at Homecoming 2011 will pave the way for a broad, sweeping Renaissance of enhanced academic excellence and student success that will extend across our campuses.
Marquee academic programs, quality faculty development, new faculty positions and endowed chairs in developing academic fields, not to mention competitive salaries and research funds, are at the heart of Graceland Forever: The Campaign for Graceland University. President John Sellars set the target of Graceland's new and aggressive campaign to raise $75 million. He said, "It is the most ambitious goal Graceland University has ever set."
Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kelly Everett reports that by Homecoming he expects we will have already raised $37.5 million. He said, "Our fantastic alumni and friends are responding to the silent phase of the campaign with generosity and a genuine love and compassion for their university."
The broad brush stroke of the campaign will involve every aspect of life on "the Hill," and the needs of our students will be the focus every step of the way. For instance, facility and technology support are important needs. Significant resources will be used to fund building upgrades. Informational Technology support equipment, and computers across our campuses, will be a priority. Updating piano labs, science labs and visual arts labs, and other tech areas, will be addressed.
Increasing scholarship funds for students entering all academic disciplines will be a key to the campaign. And, our success will ensure that innovative new majors and programs across our campuses will greet first-year students.
Special programs that mean so much to students, like our historically popular Winter Terms, the challenging academic Honors Program, our National Champion SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) team, and special summer internships, will all flourish because of increased financial support.
There is also great need for general operating funds. Athletic events, concerts and performing arts events, ‘House' activities, religious life functions, and the Swarm Inn snack bar ...these amenities and events will all be enhanced to meet the needs of 21st Century students.
Dean of our School of Nursing, Claudia Horton, Dean of our Edmund J. Gleazer School of Education, Tammy Everett, and our new Dean of the brand new College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Gary Heisserer, will be movers and shakers of the new campaign. Along with our talented Division Chairs in all academic disciplines, these university leaders will play active roles in the campaign by informing Gracelanders of current needs and future dreams.
"We have such dynamic academic leadership at Graceland," said the president. "We want our alumni and friends to meet these campus leaders and learn what facilities and resources they need to attract and retain today's brightest college students." Everett added, "Deans and Division Chairs will be traveling with development officers, meeting with donors, sharing wish lists, sharing their powerful testimony and sharing their love for Graceland."
President Sellars (pictured at right) added, "We are already seeing strong student demand for our signature programs. This translates to Graceland's movement from competitive status to very competitive status in attracting bright, motivated students who want to be part of the Graceland Experience. This capital campaign and all that is going to happen because of its success, will result in our graduates landing great jobs in their fields, or moving on to prestigious graduate schools. That is our goal. That is our mission."
We look forward to seeing you back on "the Hill" at Homecoming the weekend of October 14-16 when we launch the Graceland Forever Capital Campaign - The Campaign for Graceland University. Like our Homecoming theme this year proclaims, the campaign will usher in an era of ‘Building a Great Forever.'