Elmhurst University recently completed its most successful fundraising campaign in institutional history, raising more than $55.3 million to create and enhance opportunities for current and future Elmhurst students.
After exceeding its $50 million goal this past fall, Elmhurst 150: The Campaign for Elmhurst University continued to gain philanthropic support from alumni, faculty and staff; parents and students; and governmental, corporate and other entities, until its conclusion on June 30.
The campaign funds will create scholarships and academic opportunities; facilitate construction of a new health sciences building and renovations to campus athletic and recreational facilities; and bolster the University’s long-term financial security by strengthening the endowment. A stronger Elmhurst University endowment provides an increased level of perpetual financial support in strategic and critical areas of the institution, a necessity for the growth of current and future generations of Bluejay students, faculty and staff.
“Elmhurst 150 was a resounding success,” said Elmhurst University President Troy D. VanAken. “After reaching our goal nine months early, we sustained that momentum all the way to the end of this comprehensive campaign. We are gratified to see such a strong commitment to our students and the quality of their educational experience.”
President VanAken announced the public phase of the campaign on Dec. 6, 2021, during the University’s 150th anniversary Founders Day celebrations.
The response was historic. In all, the University received more than 20,000 individual gifts from across the country and around the world. Over 3,400 donors made their first gift during the campaign. The University also saw a notable increase in the number of alumni donors.
Several major gifts were received through planned-giving commitments as well as direct contributions, noted Andrew Knap, vice president for institutional advancement. “These gifts will enhance the student experience immediately and over the long term by relieving financial burdens, expanding career and academic services, and enabling more students to participate in meaningful enrichment activities such as studying abroad, conducting research and traveling to national conferences and seminars,” he said.
June 30 marked not only the close of the Elmhurst 150 campaign but also the University’s third consecutive year of record fundraising. During the 2023 fiscal year (July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023), Elmhurst raised more than $10.4 million, the most ever raised in one year by the institution and $300,000 more than the previous fiscal year.
Funds from the campaign already are making a significant impact:
- Gifts to the Annual Fund, which provides direct support to Elmhurst students and their education, will create scholarships and help to offset operational and programming costs.
- The Health Sciences Initiative Fund will facilitate the construction of a new building that will bring Elmhurst’s nursing, public health, occupational therapy and communication sciences and disorders programs under one roof, creating greater opportunities for collaboration and innovation. Groundbreaking on the new building is expected to take place in the fall.
- Thousands of students, coaches, spectators and community members will enjoy an enhanced experience as the University completes improvements to Langhorst Field and other athletic and recreational facilities on campus. Renovations to R.A. Faganel Hall are finished, and replacement of the turf field and track at Langhorst Field will be completed later this summer.
- Contributions to the University’s endowment and restricted funds represent an investment in the University’s long-term financial stability, and are the foundations upon which student success is built. Growth in these funds supports endowed student scholarships, programs, faculty and staff positions, and other purposes.
“The extraordinary outcome of the Elmhurst 150 campaign reflects the active and growing engagement of the entire Elmhurst University community,” President VanAken said. “The campaign was a pivotal moment for our University, but the momentum continues and will drive us to achieve even more for our students in the years to come.”