Stronger Truer Dollar Goals Met, Remaining Need

August 14, 2019

Office of University Relations group shotStronger Truer Sewanee surpasses $265 million—$15 million in excess of goal. New advancement goals focus on financial aid, 21st century programs, and the facilities to house them.

On the last official working day of Sewanee’s fiscal year (June 28), the Sewanee Fund staff was working like public radio producers on pledge week, hashing out final appeals, answering phones, making calls, and sending texts. Elsewhere in the building, gift officers called potential donors, and gifts were processed—tagged with designation codes to ensure contributions follow donor intent. 

On Monday, July 1, fundraising took a temporary pause, and the University Relations team gathered for a celebratory lunch hosted by Vice-Chancellor John McCardell and his wife, Bonnie. There was much to celebrate. The Stronger Truer Sewanee campaign, publicly launched three years before, had topped $265 million on a $250 million  goal. McCardell celebrated not only the hard work of the advancement staff,  but also the thousands of campaign contributions from alumni, parents, current students, foundations, churches, dioceses, and other friends—all of whom subscribed to the notion that Sewanee can be stronger than it has been and truer to its mission of preparing men and women for productive lives of leadership and service. 

“The Stronger Truer Sewanee campaign has been remarkably successful not only in meeting an overall goal but in funding major priorities,” McCardell said. Sewanee raised 99% of the $59.5 million goal for scholarships and internships, about 98% of the $50 million hoped for new academic programs and faculty support, and $30+ million for  new and enhanced facilities such as the Sewanee Inn, a commons project, and enhancement to athletic facilities. Fundraising for the School of Theology also surpassed established goals.

While the original fundraising goals have been met, Stronger Truer Sewanee will enjoy a bit of an encore. The Board of Regents passed a resolution that new gifts made until June 30, 2020 (with payment of pledges by June 30, 2022) will be added to the campaign total and celebrated next year. 

Campaigns have a shelf life, but the urgency of maintaining excitement for funding identified priorities remains high. We are still working hard on Sewanee’s behalf because new financial aid resources are existentially important, innovative refinements of the liberal arts excite today’s students, and our facilities must respond to students’ needs and point them toward their future.  Each year a new class of Sewanee students arrives on campus. They are ever fresh-faced, ever facing challenges that many of us cannot comprehend. Their ability to afford a Sewanee education diminishes even as the promise of what one recent donor calls “a more interesting life and hope for a brighter future” beckons them to the Mountain. 

We continue to seek your interest in (and contributions to) a stronger, truer Sewanee—a Sewanee fit for the challenges that the coming years will bring.