Dear Friends of Catholic University,

When sketching out Light the Way: The Campaign for Catholic University, we planned for the unexpected. We anticipated gifts that would affect the University in ways we couldn’t predict, but we also budgeted for a possible economic downturn. What we didn’t envision was that both scenarios would play out at the same time.

The COVID-19 pandemic could have derailed our Campaign, had we not had such extraordinary support from each of you from the very beginning. Light the Way demonstrates the transformational power of what we can accomplish together.

We give our most heartfelt thanks to all of the donors who have helped us reach this point. Your giving in support of the University, in large and small amounts, will have a lasting impact on our community. As of April 30, 2020, we have raised more than $310 million, and we are less than $90 million from our overall goal.

Already, gifts to the Campaign are lifting up Catholic University. This is happening through the addition of endowed professorships, such as the Carmelite Chair for the School of Theology and Religious Studies, and the construction of a new dining commons. Gifts like these allow us to continue building up the University for future generations of students.

I would like to thank Bill and Joanne Conway for their devoted support of our Conway School of Nursing. In addition to the more than $20 million in scholarships they have provided to our students, they have made two additional gifts of $20 million each toward the construction of the nursing and sciences building.

There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of The Catholic University of America. All of this is possible because of you, our donors.

John Garvey, President

Campaign progress

Campaign launch in Mellon Auditorium

The Campaign launched with a multi-day celebration, including a gala on September 26, 2019, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium (pictured) and a community launch on September 27, at the start of Cardinal Weekend 2019.

In 2015, Catholic University launched the most ambitious campaign in its 133-year history — Light the Way: The Campaign for Catholic University.

Over seven years, the Campaign will raise $400 million to enhance every aspect of life at the University — from academic spaces and research programs to student scholarships and endowed professorships to new and enhanced facilities.

With two years remaining in the Campaign, we are already more than three-quarters of the way to meeting our goal.

Join us as we light the way to a bright new age for Catholic University. The Campaign will continue through 2022.

14% Complete
2016 $54.8M
29% Complete
2017 $115.6M
45% Complete
2018 $178.3M
58% Complete
2019 $233.8M
78% Complete
2020 (As of April 30) $301.1M

20,707 unique donors to the Campaign through April 30, 2020

Academic environment

Students studying in a Pryz booth

80% Complete
Academic Environment $118M
Progress as of April 30, 2020
Goal: $148M


square feet of new and renovated academic space


new academic facilities underway


increase in online enrollment

The Catholic intellectual tradition is the lifeblood of Catholic University. St. John Paul II described the opportunity for students to join our academic community of scholars, researchers, and global agents of change as “learning to think rigorously, so as to act rightly and to serve humanity better.”

Here, students are encouraged to be curious, informed, compassionate, discerning, innovative, and socially aware. Opportunities range across 12 schools, 120 disciplines, and seven continents. No matter which academic path they choose, students receive an education built upon a framework of intellectual creativity, prepared to consider life’s essential questions and meet them with insight and wisdom.

Through Light the Way: The Campaign for Catholic University, we have constructed and reimagined academic facilities across our campus. By 2022, we will have provided $148 million in new investments to provide innovative academic environments and create new interdisciplinary centers and institutes to unleash the University’s full capacity.

Key Campaign initiatives:

  • Build premier academic facilities
  • Create academic programs and centers to unite disciplines
  • Provide a new facility to elevate the performing arts
  • Expand classrooms and laboratories to meet interdisciplinary needs
  • Develop new paradigms for teaching and learning
  • Expand online education programs
  • Construct new homes for The Busch School of Business and the Conway School of Nursing
  • Design best practices and institutional frameworks for classical K-12 Catholic education

Performing arts center: Allowing student-artists to shine

A new performing arts center for the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art will allow students in the school to soar to new heights.

Performing arts student

Our artists currently perform in musical and stage productions in the Hartke Theatre. Built in 1970, it was named for the Rev. Gilbert Hartke, who founded the University’s speech and drama program in 1937. They also utilize the studio and gallery space in Salve Regina Hall and the classrooms, dance studios, and music suites in Ward Hall, which was built in 1930.

“On average, the age of the three buildings in 80 years old. Among our priorities for the Campaign is seed funding for a new building,” said Jacqueline Leary-Warsaw, Ph.D, M.M. 1988, dean of the Rome School.

The school is seeking $15 million to begin the design and planning process for a performing arts center that will help all of its students reach for the stars.

Leary-Warsaw said the creative caliber of student artists, actors, and musicians is so high, they are deserving of signature spaces in which to perform and hone their crafts.

“They’re able to take their training here, and they’re able to make a change, a difference. They are touching the hearts and the souls of their audiences,” she said. “With a new facility, imagine what we can do.

Published on: Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Tags: Campaign Updates