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December 7, 2000

Regional campuses launch capital campaigns

Pitt's four regional campuses are hold- ing capital campaigns as part of the general University effort kicked off in October.

Pitt is hoping to raise $500 million by July 2003 to support its academic mission, research programs and facilities needs.

Funds raised by the regionals will be counted as part of the University's campaign, but will be earmarked for projects at the campuses, according to Institutional Advancement Associate Vice Chancellor Dee Jay Oshry, who is director of Pitt's capital campaign.

Oshry said that goals and campaign timeframes for the regionals are set by the campuses' presidents in conjunction with Provost James V. Maher. He added that the provost and deans at the Pittsburgh campus also are developing specific goals for their schools.

Following is a breakdown of the four regional campus fund-raising efforts: Johnstown After a three-year quiet phase, officials at Pitt's Johnstown campus last month announced the kick-off of an $8 million capital campaign.

Campaign donations will fund initiatives in the areas of student life, academic programming and campus renewal.

The Johnstown campus campaign, like its counterpart in Pittsburgh, will run until June 2003. About $5.6 million already has been raised, campus officials said.

Howard M. Picking III, UPJ campaign co-chair, said, "We're extremely pleased to be more than halfway toward our ultimate goal at this stage of the campaign."

The majority of the money raised to date has come from the Johnstown community. About 33 percent of the pledges are from UPJ Advisory Board members or from board-related corporations.

Money raised to date has been designated for the following endowments:

* The Frank J. and Sylvia Pasquerilla lecture series, which will fund speakers, and the Pasquerilla Family Fine Arts Endowment, established to enhance the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center in classical voice, jazz and world music.

* The Robert A. Gleason Sr. Institute, which initially will offer non-credit programs in business in the Johnstown area in partnership with the Katz Graduate School of Business on the Pittsburgh campus.

* The Picking Family Great Americans' Day lecture series, which will highlight academic speakers with expertise on famous Americans.

* The Ellen D. Hoffman Memorial Lecture, which will feature speakers on communication education and human rights activism.

* Thirteen new scholarships in the areas of allied health, nursing, health sciences, public relations, education, local government, engineering technology and natural sciences.

* Four new academic awards in theatre, accounting, chemistry and nursing.

According to Lowell Shaffer, Johnstown campaign co-chair, the next phase of the campaign will focus on alumni. "UPJ has been graduating students since 1970. We will be contacting alumni over the next two years, both by business and individually, asking them to support this endeavor at their alma mater," Shaffer said.

To date, three alumni-funded endowments have been established: the first full scholarship at Johnstown in engineering technology; a scholarship for financially needy freshmen from the Hooversville area, and a scholarship for commuter students.

Greensburg The goal of the Greensburg campus's campaign, called Investing in Excellence, is $12.6 million, according to Holly DiBiasi, coordinator of development at Greensburg. A little more than $2 million has been raised to date, DiBiasi said.

David Schmidt, director of University Relations and Institutional Advancement at Greensburg, said the areas the campaign is targeting include:

* Funding two plant and facilities projects: a new campus and community events center, which is planned as an addition to Chambers Hall ($5 million goal), and modernization of the Smith Hall science laboratories ($1.5 million). The school has received a $500,000 challenge grant for the events center from the R.K. Mellon Foundation.

* Funding enhanced school programming for academics, technology and student life ($3 million).

* Endowing a chair in finance as part of a project to develop an undergraduate program in finance in conjunction with the Department of Management ($1 million).

* Endowing international learning opportunities ($1 million). The campus hopes to establish exchange relationships with international universities to afford all students the opportunity to spend at least one semester studying abroad. As part of this effort, Schmidt said, the campus wants to strengthen its relationship with the University Center for International Studies, housed on the Pittsburgh campus.

* Endowing a public affairs speaker series, which would fund an annual lecture by visiting experts in the field ($500,000).

* Supporting the academic villages ($200,000). Greensburg has four academic villages: humanities, behavioral sciences, natural sciences/new technologies and international studies. The villages are highly competitive student residence organizations focused around academic themes.

* Endowing the Institute of Continuing Learning, which offers noncredit enrichment classes for nontraditional students and adult learners ($200,000).

* Supporting the school's "margin of excellence," a catch-all category for discretionary funds ($200,000). Schmidt said the funds might finance visiting scholars' lectures or other on-campus events.

Schmidt, who is a member of UPG's capital campaign committee, said the Greensburg campaign is expected to run for about five years.

The committee's chair is John A. Robertshaw Jr., of Robertshaw Management, Inc.

Greensburg also is planning a capital campaign-related internal campaign, which will be launched formally at a campus-wide employee seminar series Jan. 17 and 18. "We will have a kind of pep rally for staff and faculty to get them involved," DiBiasi said. "We're hoping to get close to 100 percent participation, not necessarily individual big gifts, but to show that there's a united campus effort when we approach corporations and foundations."

The internal campaign is expected to evolve into an annual giving fund campaign, Schmidt said, and to continue past the end of the capital campaign in 2005. Greensburg's internal giving campaign has been dormant since the mid-1980s, he said.

Bradford Bradford's capital campaign just began its "quiet phase" last month, according to Karen Niemic Buchheit, Bradford's director of Institutional Advancement and assistant to the president. Typically, a capital campaign tries to raise at least half of the goal during the quiet phase before announcing the public phase, which includes the declaration of overall and specific goals.

"Our campus is on a different timeline from Oakland, because we just completed our last capital campaign," Niemic Buchheit said.

The public phase is still two to three years away, she said. However, money raised in the quiet phase will count toward the University's overall goal.

The UPB campaign theme is "Complete the Campus." Areas targeted for Bradford campaign funding are scholarships, technology, buildings (new construction and refurbishment) and academic programs.

Howard Fesenmyer, chair of the Bradford campaign effort, is a member of the Bradford campus Advisory Board and chair of its Development Council.

Bradford's last capital campaign, titled Campaign 2000, began in 1995 and ended this year, netting $10.1 million, which surpassed the $8 million goal, Niemic Buchheit said.

Titusville Michael Worman, Titusville campus president, said the regional expects to announce its goals and progress publicly in January. He said he will meet with the chancellor and provost in the next few weeks to firm up individual goals and develop a campaign theme. The campaign is expected to run through June 2003.

Titusville also recently completed a capital campaign, surpassing its $1 million goal. The centerpiece of the six-year campaign was building the Broadhurst Science Center, which houses science classrooms and labs, faculty offices, a computer lab and the Henne Auditorium.

–Peter Hart


Filed under: Feature,Volume 33 Issue 8

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