Ferris State University increases campaign goal to $115 million

Ferris State University President David Eisler announced the Now and Always campaign during the launching ceremony in November of 2017. Recently, due to the currently success of the campaign, organizers have announced in increase in the goal from $80 million to $115 million. (Pioneer file photo)

Submitted to the Pioneer 

BIG RAPIDS — With seven months remaining in its first-ever, comprehensive fundraising campaign, Ferris State University has achieved 97 percent of its fundraising goal with nearly $78 million raised by FSU alumni, faculty and staff, friends and corporations and foundations.

Publicly launched in November 2017, the Now and Always comprehensive campaign set a goal of $80 million to be raised by June 30, 2019. The campaign supports three broad university priorities: investing in students; program expansion and innovation; and building partnerships.

At the 20th annual Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit, which was recently hosted in Grand Rapids, to honor many of those who have been central to the campaign’s success, Shelly Pearcy, vice president for university advancement and marketing, announced the campaign goal will be increased to $115 million and the time frame extended through June 30, 2022.

Pearcy told the Ferris Foundation Board of Directors and 650 supporters and guests gathered at the DeVos Place Convention Center extending the campaign will accelerate its progress and intensify the enthusiasm donors and alumni have for its impact on the university and students.

Ferris President David Eisler shared similar sentiments.

“The response to the campaign has been both humbling and momentous,” Eisler said. “What we do here at Ferris is focused on our students, the opportunities we provide and the dreams they can achieve. Extending the campaign and increasing the goal will enable the university to attract even more gifts for scholarships — the first priority of the campaign. There has never been a better time than now to help us transform students’ lives.”

Since the inception of the Ferris Futures Scholarship Challenge dollar-for-dollar matching gift program, in 2016, The Ferris Foundation has raised more than $5.67 million — $11 million-plus with the match — in gift commitments toward new and existing scholarship endowments. More than 130 new scholarship endowments have been created.

“The campaign helps Ferris State University fulfill its educational mission to provide faculty with the resources they need to build and deliver great academic programs,” Eisler said. “Our combined efforts build great futures for students who are prepared for success both in life and their chosen careers.”

Some visible results of the campaign thus far are the completion of a major expansion and renovation of the Swan Annex and the construction of the Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center at Katke Golf Course on the Big Rapids campus.

This fall, the upgraded and expanded Swan Annex welcomed students in FSU’s welding technology and manufacturing engineering technology programs and will allow for growth in those programs. Fundraising is still underway, with $1.9 million left to raise to meet the project goal.

The Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center is being constructed and is expected to open in early 2019. The year-round practice and educational center will feature the latest technology for golf management students and guests and will serve as the new home of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. There are naming opportunities still available for interested donors.

Pearcy said a goal of the extended campaign is to begin a second major phase of fundraising for FSU’s College of Pharmacy. This extensive initiative is on the heels of the first pharmacy campaign which raised $11.7 million, exceeding its $9.4 million goal. The second phase of fundraising will allow for additional renovations to the Hagerman Pharmacy Building, increase research and program development opportunities for faculty and make scholarships available to every pharmacy student.

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