By Mitch Holt, Opinion Editor
The Centennial Campaign fund trails this year’s goal by about $200,000, but development staff said that plenty of time remains to raise the goal of $150 million by December 2006, if friends and alumni continue to give consistently.
“In light of recent events this fall, our slow pace isn’t surprising,” said Brent Magner, director of Development and coordinator of all fundraising campaign strategies. “Whenever there is a major disaster, many people will understandably reallocate their resources to help those in crisis situations.”
As Homecoming approaches, he said, alumni and friends will attend certain events as the week progresses, possibly resulting in some giving to the Centennial Fund.
Magner said that Homecoming is traditionally a time for the university to reconnect with alumni and renew relationships with peers, so those in charge of the fund do not engage in fundraising activities during the week.
“Some of the alumni and friends will choose to give, but those gifts are unsolicited,” he said.
An announcement will be made for the results of each reunion-celebrating class during Homecoming Weekend, but a request for additional giving will not be given.
The fund at the university is relatively small compared to fundraisers at other universities. Magner said that Wheaton College has a goal of $4.1 million this year, which translates into $1,400 per student. ACU’s fundraiser is a much smaller amount, calling for $275 per student.
“For the sake of our school and our students, we need to do much better,” Magner said. “We can’t all give a gift that will build a performing arts center, but we can all participate in an annual fund that could feasibly change the experience of every student on campus.”
Phil Boone, director of the Centennial Campaign, said that when alumni give to the university, it strengthens relationships and evokes an interest on the part of alumni-who like to see how their donations benefit their alma mater.
“We know that the money is out there and that God will move people’s hearts to give,” Boone said in August. “We not only give him the credit for the money that’s been raised, but we also recognize that we’re dependent upon his blessings to meet the desired goal.”