Ursinus Embarks on Keep the Promise Campaign

Ursinus College’s $100 million comprehensive campaign will raise funds in support of its mission and strategic priorities that will advance academic innovation, enrich the student experience and provide enhanced access through scholarships. 

Keep the Promise will culminate with another historic milestone: the college’s sesquicentennial anniversary during fiscal year 2019-20.

“Ursinus is proud to fully embrace this moment in our history. As we approach our 150th anniversary, our vision is to position Ursinus as the first choice institution for students, for faculty and staff, for innovation, and for philanthropy,” Ursinus College President Brock Blomberg says. “That vision starts with this campaign, one that allows us to move the college forward and make the leap into a new era for Ursinus. It positions us as a national leader in the liberal arts while keeping our promise to our students by enabling them to become independent, thoughtful global leaders of the future.”     

The public phase of the campaign began with a special kickoff event and all-campus party on Oct. 21 and was preceded by a groundbreaking ceremony for the $29 million Innovation and Discovery Center (IDC), the centerpiece of the campaign.

Ursinus has seen great success since the quiet phase of the campaign began in July 2012. Support is tracking towards $60 million and has hit every financial target since its inception.

“I am honored to be leading this historic campaign for my alma mater,” says Jill Leauber Marsteller ’78, senior vice president for advancement at Ursinus College. “We have a strong team of staff and volunteer leadership, all of whom are working diligently to engage as many alumni, parents and friends in this anniversary campaign. And while the dollar goal is clearly critical, we are just as focused on welcoming donors at all levels of support, because every donation makes a difference in a student’s life.”

Keep the Promise priorities are focused especially on interdisciplinary learning though investments in the Innovation and Discovery Center and the college’s three academic centers: the Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good; the U-Imagine Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies; and the Melrose center for Global Civic Engagement. Each of these centers place Ursinus students at the intersection of disciplines that will prepare them for a future life of purpose and achievement.

These students will join a long line of alumni that includes a Nobel Prize winner, a Rhodes Scholar, a U.S. Olympic bronze medal-winning field hockey team coach, and a U.S. Congressman.

Additionally, the campaign is focused on making college more affordable to future students through endowed scholarships, which will account for one-third of campaign targets. Other goals remain student-centric as well, supporting immersive learning opportunities such as Ursinus’s Summer Fellows, study abroad, and internship programs. The balance will be directed to the faculty and essential programs such as athletics, academics, the arts, and other campus initiatives which would not be possible without the thousands of small, yet essential gifts to the annual fund.

Many individuals and organizations already have made commitments to the Keep the Promise campaign. These include a recent seven-figure commitment to permanently endow the newly named Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good, which provides opportunities for students to become outstanding civic and scientific leaders, and a $5 million gift to the IDC—the largest gift ever received from an alumnus in the history of the college. –by Ed Moorhouse