By Jeremy O’Neill
The University of the South was successful in expressing the priorities of its prayer, as the Office of University Advancement proudly announced that the Stronger Truer Sewanee capital campaign had successfully reached its goal of $250 million raised for the University on February 12. Sewanee’s official University Prayer concludes with a unique message: “Bless all who have contributed to this institution; and raise up to the University, we humbly pray thee, a never-failing succession of benefactors, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
The campaign, which lasted approximately two years, highlighted four main areas of focus for donations at its launch, as identified on its website. The first, Ensuring Access, Value, and Opportunity, raised the most money out of all the areas, with the $58,346,265 going to the expansion of financial aid in both the college and the seminary.
The second area of focus was Reinforcing Academic Distinction, which will assist in growing the University’s faculty and academic programs. This was followed by Enriching the Sewanee Experience, for the new wellness commons and village, and Educating Tomorrow’s Church Leaders, which focuses on the relocation of the School of Theology.
Vice-Chancellor John McCardell is quoted about the campaign on the Stronger Truer Sewanee website: “The campaign priorities are designed not to make Sewanee like some other place, but rather a stronger, truer version of its essential self. For all who love Sewanee, this is our time. For all who have shared in the splendor of this place and been transformed by it, this is our chance. This is our opportunity to strengthen this University for many years and many generations to come.”
The effects of the campaign are sure to be felt by current and future Sewanee students, as the University begins the process of actualizing the goals of the campaign. “Our focus in the six months remaining in this campaign will be the raise the funds to help us 100 percent of the demonstrated need of every admitted student,” Stated McCardell in a video released to the Sewanee community to announce the surpassing of the initial $250 million goal.
Despite already reaching the indicated goal, Stronger Truer Sewanee will run through June 30, 2019, with emphasis going towards funding for financial aid programs and the School of Theology relocation. The campaign website notes that for individuals willing to contribute to these areas, named endowed scholarship funds begin at the $150,000 level for the College and $75,000 for the School of Theology. It is the hope of all involved in the Sewanee community that the University’s recent fundraising efforts will help fulfill another request in the University Prayer, that “the students grow in grace day by day; enlighten their minds, purify their hearts, and sanctify their wills.”