On October 18, The Catholic University of America announced it will extend Light the Way: The Campaign for Catholic University through 2023. The Board of Trustees made the decision as the University reached the Campaign’s original goal of $400 million six months ahead of its planned conclusion in April 2022; the new Campaign goal is $500 million.
Launched publicly in 2019, Light the Way is the University’s first comprehensive campaign. Led by University President John Garvey, the Campaign has received support from more than 24,500 alumni, students, parents, foundations, corporations, and friends of the University. That support has helped to transform the University’s campus, enhance support for students and faculty, and expand the University’s academic programs.
“We are tremendously grateful to the thousands of donors who have invested in the University through the Light the Way Campaign so far. I was so pleased by the encouragement of our volunteer leaders and greater community to extend this initiative so that the effects of our donors’ investments can be felt by more students, faculty, and staff across the University.”— University President John Garvey
On campus, Campaign support allowed the University to renovate Maloney Hall, the new home for the Busch School of Business; fund a new building for the Conway School of Nursing; add Carlini Field as a new venue for intercollegiate athletics; and begin construction on a new dining hall, which is expected to open in 2022.
The Campaign has raised $85 million in endowed and current-use undergraduate and graduate scholarship support to help make a Catholic University education accessible for more students. Student life has also been improved through the enhancement of the Center for Academic and Career Success and the Center for Cultural Engagement.
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Faculty and staff have benefitted through the funding of eight endowed professorships, 12 new research centers and institutes, and endowed coaching positions in football, lacrosse, and basketball. The University also secured initial funding for new endeavors, including The Catholic Project and the Institute for the Transformation of Catholic Education.
Despite these many inspiring successes, there is still more to accomplish. Surpassing the Campaign’s initial goal of $400 million helped to achieve many of its stated objectives, but others remain and the pandemic slowed efforts to build new donor relationships and engage alumni and other volunteers in the Campaign efforts.
“The additional year will enable more of our constituents to get involved and invest in Light the Way. We wanted to provide the opportunity for more donors to experience the heartfelt pride that comes from helping to transform the University through this first truly comprehensive campaign.”— Scott Rembold, vice president for University Advancement
Student success is one of the Campaign’s imperatives. With the extended time, the University plans to address emerging priorities to assist current and future University students, such as increased financial aid, extended support services, and new health and wellness facilities.
Another top priority is increasing externally funded research opportunities for faculty and students. In 2020-21, the University witnessed its most successful year to date for external research funding, highlighted by two significant NASA contracts totaling $64 million over five years. Provost Aaron Dominguez has set a goal to grow Catholic’s research funding base to achieve a Carnegie 1 classification, indicating “very high” research activity.
Finally, additional time will allow the individual schools to include new academic programs, raise funds for additional endowed chairs, and secure Campaign commitments for new programs and research and emerging priorities.
By the time the Campaign concludes in 2023, the University expects to add another $100 million in philanthropic support to complete funding for the Campaign’s original goals and to invest in these new priorities, bringing the Campaign’s total to a record-breaking $500 million.
“I am confident that we can achieve the new Campaign goal. We have seen the strength of the Catholic University community, especially over the past few years, and they have shown us how deeply they are invested in the University’s success,” Rembold said. “Now is the time to get involved. Each gift makes a difference, for our students, for our faculty and staff, and for the University’s bright future.”