During a multi-day celebration at the end of September, Catholic University publicly launched its most ambitious campaign in its 132-year history: Light the Way: The Campaign for Catholic University.

Initiated in 2015, the Campaign will run until 2022. Its priorities are organized under imperatives to generate funds for Faculty Excellence, Student Success, and Academic Environment.

University President John Garvey said the comprehensive Campaign will impact the entire campus community: adding scholarships and endowed professorships, expanding research and internship opportunities, and enhancing physical spaces.

“This evening is about the bright future of our University. But it is a future that has been foreseen since our beginning in 1887. […] In every great endeavor, there are those who have the faith to step up to the challenge and become leaders. Occasions like this evening do not happen without early, visionary, and heroic investment.”

President John Garvey

The University’s Board Chair and Campaign Co-Chair Joe Carlini, B.M.E. 1984, announced $259,507,287 has already been raised to date.

September 26 at the Mellon Auditorium

Trustee emerita Andrea Roane, former anchor for WUSA Channel 9, emceed the event on September 26, 2019, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

“With the generous investment of visionary leaders, … we have made real progress over the last four years,” said Lee Ann Brady, B.A. 1978, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and the Athletics Board of Visitors.

Included in the total announced by Mr. Carlini was a new, $13 million commitment to the Institute for Human Ecology and The Busch School of Business.

The evening also featured an inspirational video about all the University hopes to achieve through the Campaign, and performances from students in the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art in an overview of University history and a spectacular musical finale.

September 27 on campus

A new event held on September 27 served both as the community launch for the Campaign and as the kick off for Cardinal Weekend 2019.

Held on the University Mall, Cardinal Fest, sponsored by the Division of University Advancement and the Alumni Association, attracted students, faculty, staff, University neighbors from the Brookland area, and approximately 300 alumni who started their reunion weekend early. 

Student performance and school demonstrations

Student performers from both the Take Note and Red Line a capella groups, the Catholic University Cheerleading and Dance teams, the Gaels Irish Dance Team, and the Filipino Organization of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) graced the stage.

Under large tents, representatives from a number of the University’s 12 schools manned tables featuring fun activities. Students from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art brought a living art project — in the form of a white, upright piano — that attendees could both play and paint. The School of Engineering offered the chance to try on virtual reality goggles or create objects with their 3D printer. Both the Conway School of Nursing and the School of Theology and Religious Studies offered quizzes so Cardinal Fest-goers could test their knowledge.

Community launch celebration

Junior Architecture major Schola Eburuoh served as emcee for the Campaign launch portion of the evening.

“I can honestly feel the school pride across the lawn,” she said, pausing as classmates and some of her residents in Unanue House cheered her on. “We have built such a strong community here at Catholic University, and big things are continuing to happen to make it even greater!”

She introduced President John Garvey and Campaign co-chairs and University trustees Joe Carlini, B.M.E. and Enrique Segura. They spoke in turn about the importance of the Campaign and how everyone who calls the University home can play a vital part in its success.

“The Campaign, it doesn't just mean better facilities, it doesn't just mean better academics, or better research. It means all of that. But it also means our legacy for the students of Catholic University and future Cardinals.”

Enrique Segura

As the sun went down, large screens flanking the stage played the Campaign video. A fireworks show closed the evening.

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