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Sam Houston State University Tops $50 Million Campaign Goal

July 12, 2010

Updated: Aug. 9, 2010
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

Amid lively and festive fanfare, Sam Houston State University announced on July 10 that its first capital campaign has made history by going beyond its $50 million goal.

The Share the Vision campaign has raised nearly $60 million in commitments from more than 21,500 alumni, friends, parents, corporations, and foundations for scholarships, program endowments, and construction projects.

Vice President for University Advancement Frank Holmes praised those involved for working together and being successful, in spite of the unfriendly financial climate.

“The ability to surpass our campaign's goal and to do it ahead of schedule in today's troubled economy is a testament to the loyalty and affection that alumni and friends have for Sam Houston State University,” he said.

“During a period when most charitable organizations were dealing with reduced contributions, our university had a record-setting year for cash contributions during 2008-09,” he said. “I cannot tell you how fortunate I feel to have had the opportunity to work closely with so many supportive and dedicated alumni, friends, faculty, and staff. The amount of commitments received has been the result of genuine teamwork.”

The total, which exceeds the comprehensive campaign’s goal by nearly $10million, was made public during Celebrate the Vision, an event recognizing the work of those involved in the successful campaign.

“I am so grateful for the support of our wonderful donors and the very special people who provided the leadership for the Share the Vision Campaign, especially our chairman, Ron Mafrige (BBA ’60), who led the way with his generosity and encouragement,” said SHSU President Jim Gaertner.

“Before we began planning this campaign, Ron was there providing the support and involving others,” said Gaertner. “There were some who thought a $50 million goal was beyond our reach. As we prepared to launch the first capital campaign in the university's history, he stepped up to provide extraordinary giving that expressed confidence in our ability to be successful.”

Mafrige thanked those who have a special place in their hearts for the university.

"If it wasn't for the participation of the many hundreds of people that love Sam Houston, this goal could not have been achieved," he said.

Approximately 350 people attended the event, held at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum on campus.

During the evening, those serving on the Executive Leadership Council were recognized for their commitment and time to the campaign.

They include: Arnold Allemang, Charlie Amato, Jim Bexley, Karey Bresenhan, Ronny Carroll, Kay Deahl, Tim Deahl, Lee Drain, Gary Dudley, Tom Freeman, Eleanor Garrett, Glenda Gordy, Dick Hendee, John Hoyt, Robert Hutson, Preston Johnson and Chuck Jones.

Also, Len Keeling, Ron Koska, Roger Lawrence, Gib Lewis, George Miles, Jane Monday, Jack Parker, Phil Pfeiffer, Becky Rao, Kailas Rao, Joe Sandel, Winnie Sandel, Don Sanders, Ed Sandhop, Randy Stewart, Don Walker and Carol Weller.

The Share the Vision campaign was publicly launched four years ago as the university’s most ambitious and challenging advancement initiative in Sam Houston State University’s 131-year history.

During the campaign, the university received some of its largest gifts ever, including nine gifts of $1 million and more, with an additional commitment of five deferred gifts of $1 million and more.

Prior to the campaign, the university received an anonymous gift of $1 million gift in 1996 for the College of Business Administration and two $500,000 gifts from the Houston Endowment in 1989 for the journalism program.

The campaign also saw a dramatic increase in giving by members of the university community. Approximately $1.4 million was given or pledged by SHSU faculty and staff.

“The generosity of our donors has been heartening to us from the inception of the campaign,” said Gaertner.

“The responses to our requests for financial support were critical to sustain our efforts. It seemed like whenever our momentum just might be slowing a little that an individual or two would come forward to make a major gift that really reinvigorated the campaign and lifted the spirits of our volunteer leaders and our development staff,” he said.

“We are so proud and very grateful that our university has merited the generous support and involvement of so many outstanding people. We cannot express our thanks adequately or often enough to reveal how very fortunate we feel,” he said.

In addition to the financial benefits, Gaertner recognized the depth of the intangible benefits of the campaign.

“In terms of exposure and the fact that we have demonstrated the support that is out there for the university, the campaign has been wonderful for Sam Houston State University,” he said.


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