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University of St. Thomas raises more than $500 million in capital campaign

More than $142 million of the total is slated for financial aid.

The University of St. Thomas has announced a milestone: more than a half-billion dollars given or pledged for its capital campaign.

University President Fr. Dennis Dease announced Wednesday night that gifts and pledges to the campaign total $515,104,773. 

The school’s board had set a $500 million goal in 2007. It had a good start, getting $60 million from St. Thomas trustee Lee Anderson and his wife, Penny, which helped pay for three major construction projects on the St. Paul campus: the 2012 Anderson Student Center, the 2010 Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex and the 2009 Anderson Parking Facility.

The contributions come from 43,539 alumni and friends, Dease said. More than 3,300 students contributed, the school said.

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St. Thomas said projects funded by the campaign include:

Construction projects

  • $58.7 million for the Anderson Student Center.
  • $52.9 million for the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex.
  • $15 million for the Anderson Parking Facility.
  • $4.6 million to expand Sitzmann Hall, Center for Catholic Studies.
  • $2.6 million to expand the Gainey Conference Center in Owatonna.
  • $1.1 million to renovate the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Financial and academic programs

  • $142.5 million for financial aid ($106.5 million for
    undergraduates and $36 million for graduate students).
  • $51.8 million for 19 endowed chairs and professorships.
  • $35.1 million for deanships and strategic funds.
  • $8.6 million for the School of Law.
  • $5 million for the Norris Institute.
  • $3.9 million for the Center for Ethical Business Cultures.
  • $3.4 million for the Center for Catholic Studies.
  • $2.5 million for the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic
    Thought, Law and Public Policy.
  • $1 million for the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning.

St. Thomas says this is the “most successful fundraising campaign of any private institution of higher education in Minnesota and its four neighboring states.”