Huntington University launches $21M capital campaign

Huntington, Ind. - Huntington University has launched a $21 million capital campaign to renovate Becker Hall; to build a new Studio Art Center; to expand the Merillat Complex for Physical Education and Recreation (MCPER); and to grow the University Fund and endowment.

Together: The Campaign for Huntington University was a project started in 2007 to improve and expand campus offerings and facilities.

"We must dream again," said HU President G. Blair Dowden. "We need to expand and renovate and build."

Through the "Together" campaign, $1.5 million is planned for digital and visual arts; $9.5 million for the MCPER; $3 million for the University Fund; and $2 million is planned to increase the university's current endowment and $5 million is planned for deferred giving commitments.

Over the past two years, $9.7 million in donations and pledges have been made to the campaign which has resulted in the construction of the Studio Art Center - a combination of the Art Annex building and a new 2-D studio - and renovations to Becker Hall, including refurbishing the entryway, adding an elevator and renovating the third floor to create a film studio for the digital media arts program. Work has also begun at the MCPER as new "HU" bleachers were installed this summer. Plans for the MCPER also include creating a new entryway; expanding the exercise and weight-training areas; adding new classroom and fitness lab spaces; renovating the outdoor track; constructing a new hardwood floor gymnasium; and installing all-weather turf on the soccer field. The campaign will also raise funds for a facilities endowment.

The campaign is also working to grow the University Fund and the endowment.

The University Fund helps to bridge the gap between what students can afford and the financial aid available to them. The endowment has a long-term impact by establishing scholarships, endowing faculty chairs or supporting a particular program. It also helps supplement funds for the overall operation of the university.

Currently, 91 percent of the student body receives some sort of financial aid.

"Colleges more than any time in their history need money," said Dave McGinnis, campaign co-chair. "We need donors who can help."

Donations can be made to the university in various forms such as cash, appreciated securities or real estate. The Office of Advancement will work with individuals to make sure that their gifts fulfill the donor's wishes as well as the university's needs.

"People look at this campaign and maybe they have to step out on faith that this is something that they are being called to," said Travis Holdman, campaign co-chair. "They may not have another opportunity to do something that is lasting and eternal."