A university-wide campaign is calling attention toward the important role philanthropy plays in everything at the university, highlighting the benefits that giving leads to in every facet of life at St. Thomas.
“Gifts have supported everything from scholarships to buildings, and we are grateful. But at St. Thomas, philanthropy brings us from great to excellent,” said Erik Thurman, vice president of development and alumni relations. “Philanthropy funds the margin of excellence that builds academic buildings, sends students abroad, creates financial access and establishes new schools like engineering, business, entrepreneurship, and the Dougherty Family College.”
More than 11,000 donors contributed to St. Thomas in fiscal year 2018, helping fund more than 1,104 students who received scholarships and countless efforts across campus.
“Philanthropy is about helping each other … it’s about generosity and gratitude. A culture of both generosity and gratitude creates a place where everyone can succeed. This is what it means to be a Tommie,” senior Gino Marchio said. “Philanthropy supports the projects and development of St. Thomas from which we all benefit. Without philanthropy we would not have the beautiful campus that we walk through every day, and we would not have the awesome people that make up our Tommie community.”
The campaign highlights the role of philanthropy in buildings, as well: Anderson Student Center was 89% funded by donations from more than 675 donors; Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex was 85% funded by more than 375 donors.
While the names of lead donors Lee and Penny Anderson give those two buildings their name, the Thx campaign celebrates donors who give any amount they are able to the university.
“While many gifts came from people whose names adorn campus buildings, like Schoenecker, O’Shaughnessy, Anderson, Schulze, there are countless others who have made a difference,” Thurman said. “Every gift, no matter the size, is important. Every gift is a testament to the important role St. Thomas plays in our lives and our community.”
As the community celebrates the continued generosity supporting the university in 2019 and beyond, Thurman pointed out the gifting of the land for St. Thomas from William Finn to Archbishop John Ireland was “the seed that started to grow philanthropy at St Thomas. That philanthropy is just as important today as it was then for driving our mission, helping our students and growing excellence across all St. Thomas.”