A Beacon Ever Bright: The Campaign for Immaculata University

Thy mem’ry fair as any star
When from thy gates I’ve wandered far
Let be a beacon ever bright
To guide my footsteps in the night

—fourth verse of Immaculata’s Alma Mater

There has always been an outpouring of love when it comes to giving to Immaculata University. This year, there are even more opportunities to demonstrate your commitment.

Immaculata recently announced to an enthusiastic group of supporters that it has embarked on its first comprehensive capital campaign, A Beacon Ever Bright. Led by a committed group of trustees, alumni, friends, faculty and staff, the initiative will provide $25 million in funding for projects that will further advance the mission of Immaculata University and enhance educational opportunities for its students. Highlights include the construction of the Student Engagement Center, and for those who have called the dome their home, a restoration of this iconic symbol to continue to light the way for years to come.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Immaculata family to play an important role in moving our university forward,” said Janet Garrity ’78, trustee and chair of the campaign executive committee for A Beacon Ever Bright. “We value and support Immaculata’s rich history and tradition and footprint—and we look forward to expanding the footprint to better serve the needs of our students today and into the future.”

Thanks to the generosity of many donors, Immaculata has raised nearly $15 million toward its goal of $25 million. Reflecting on this progress so far, Vice President for University Advancement Kevin F. Quinn said, “It’s nice to work with so many people who are so enthusiastic in their support of Immaculata.”

Through contributions that support scholarships, endowments, or the Immaculata Fund, or through giving to a special project, your investment in IU provides lasting impact for our students. Throughout this issue you will read stories about how your generous support thus far has provided opportunities—to attend Immaculata, participate in a meaningful educational project sponsored by expert faculty, or experience an enriched campus life—all rewards of your giving.

Caring for Historic Buildings

Dome Restoration

The crown jewel of Immaculata’s campus is the dome of Villa Maria Hall and its statue of Mary. High on a hill overlooking Chester County for more than 100 years, the dome serves as a backdrop for the neighbors of Immaculata and the University community. Care of the dome is critical to ensure the longevity of this iconic structure.

Restoring Villa Maria’s dome will require three components:
•  Masonry work to shore up the dome, protecting its structural integrity.
•  New windows to seal the structure, conserving energy more effectively.
•  A new coating to protect against corrosion of the dome’s exterior.

Good Counsel Hall Renovations

“Renovating Good Counsel Hall will provide a safer, cleaner, more environmentally friendly space for both academic and social uses,” said Kerry Jones, Immaculata’s director of capital planning and construction. Good Counsel Hall’s bookstore and classrooms will get a facelift through new flooring and windows, fresh paint, and sound-deadening materials. New bathrooms with water-conserving fixtures and energy-saving LED lighting
will be installed throughout. Indoor air quality will be improved, and sound transmission between certain spaces will be better controlled.

Upgrades to the building’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems will improve energy efficiency and save money. Renovations—which have already begun under a phased approach—will also include life-safety improvements such as the installation of a new sprinkler system. A second elevator, shared with the new Student Engagement Center, will further ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Scholarships and Academics

The Immaculata Fund

In an age when a college degree is increasingly essential for securing a good job and achieving lifelong financial stability, the Immaculata Fund allows us to offer generous scholarships to students who need them.
•  37% of money raised from individuals and foundations was allocated to the Immaculata Fund, which provides support to the greatest priorities, student experiences and financial aid.
•  23% of our undergraduate students have a family income of less than $40,000 per year and receive need-based federal grants to help pay for college.

The Immaculata Fund also helps us keep up with current instructional technologies, supports faculty as they attend academic conferences and conduct research, and provides opportunities for students to engage in internships, international study programs, scholarly research projects, and service learning—all of which enrich their learning experience and build their resumes.

The Endowment

Immaculata’s endowment contains permanently invested assets, and a portion of the annual earnings are distributed each year to support University initiatives. A robust endowment gives Immaculata financial stability, and it provides you with an opportunity to maximize your gift so that it keeps giving for many years to come.

You may choose to honor a family member, a respected faculty member or a University administrator through your gift. This gives us the opportunity to tell your story to future generations of Immaculatans.

Student Engagement CenterCampus Enhancements

A New Student Engagement Center

The Student Engagement Center will be a place of hospitality. For the nervous freshman who would love to get to know her fellow students, the center will be a place where she can attend a coffee house and strike up a conversation with people gathered by the fireplace. For the tired mom who didn’t have time to eat dinner before her three-hour night class, the center will offer her a place to grab a hot meal that will help her concentrate on the class discussion. For the grad student who wants to review difficult statistical concepts with his classmates, the center will provide a cozy place to meet.

Added on to Good Counsel Hall, the Student Engagement Center will create an inviting space within the central core of Immaculata’s campus. Students of all ages will be able to commingle in this space, share a meal, socialize, relax, and study together.

In recent years, much of the non-academic space on campus that used to be dedicated to students has been reallocated for classroom or office use. “We want to provide places for them to hang out on campus, giving it a livelier atmosphere and generating some excitement in a central area,” said Jones.

As a father of five, Jones has noticed what features of college campuses have attracted or deterred his children from applying for acceptance at those institutions. With his perspective as a parent, Jones and other University leaders see a new Student Engagement Center as an important part of attracting and retaining students.

This addition will be “affordable, simple, and well laid out to help us get the most bang for our buck,” Jones said. Various rooms in the student center will be flexible enough to accommodate multiple purposes, such as classes during the day and activities at night, including conferences, performances, or alumni gatherings.

The Student Engagement Center will show hospitality for a community of learners who share their experiences, discuss ideas, put forth opinions, disagree and challenge each other, and cultivate healthy, respectful relationships.

To learn more about keeping the Beacon Ever Bright, call 484-323-3935, email campaign@immaculata.edu, or visit immaculata.edu/beacon.

Author: aduncan

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