$8 million, $12 million gifts bring total raised to more than $65 million
Two building projects set to begin
The Campaign for Pacific Lutheran University: The Next Bold Step, a $100-million fund-raising drive, was announced publicly last month at the annual Q Club banquet. The campaign will build the endowment, restore and expand facilities, and strengthen annual support.
A total of $65.7 million of the goal already has been raised. It includes two major gifts that were announced by President Loren J. Anderson during the May 6 banquet.
The first is an $8 million commitment from the Donald and Wanda Morken family that will provide lead funding for a new campus building, the Center for Learning and Technology.
"Our Board of Regents has authorized the university to proceed with the preparation of final plans for the Center for Learning and Technology," Anderson said. "We are able to do so because of the Morkens' $3 million commitment toward planning and construction of the building.
The Morken family has a rich and distinguished history at PLU. Don Morken has been a regent at the university for 10 years and is a 1960 graduate. His father, Ed Morken, was a regent for 16 years. Morken and his wife, Wanda, have provided financial support for the Q Club, KPLU, the general operating budget, the endowment, the Genesee Scholarships, and the Morken Family Scholarship. Don Morken is founder and president of the firm of Genesee Investments.
The second gift, the largest in university history, was received in late April. The $12 million commitmentfrom a PLU graduate who wishes to remain anonymouswill provide support for facilities' construction, scholarships and endowment support. It is one of the largest gifts ever to higher education in the Pacific Northwest.
The campaign kickoff ceremony was led by Frank Jennings, chairman of the campaign steering committee, and campaign co-chairs Anne Long '86, Richard Moe and Donald Morken '60.
"This campaign will be about the endowment, renovating and constructing buildings, and ensuring the financial stability of the university," Jennings said.
"But these are only superficial descriptions of the campaign. At its heart, the campaign is about our alumni and friends supporting our students and faculty, today and into the future."
A second priority in the campaign is to raise $20 millionabout $4 million per year in annual operating support. This includes proceeds from the Annual Fund, the annual Q Club campaign to provide financial aid, as well as special restricted and program grants to support new initiatives, and underwrite the acquisition of equipment and technology.
Progress during the 20 month "quiet phase" of the campaign resulted in the $65.7 million jump-start on the $100 million goal. The funding that has already been received will support several projects that will begin immediately.
Xavier Hall Renovation
"Renovation of the second oldest building on campus, Xavier Hall, will begin in July," Anderson said. "The $5 million project will include $3.5 million for construction and $1.5 million for an endowment to support academic programs and technology in the facility."
Serving first as the college's library and now housing six Social Science departments, the more than 60-year-old structure will be transformed into a teaching facility appropriate for the 21st century.
The former reading room/lecture hall will be named in recognition of longtime faculty member, history Professor Philip Nordquist, a 1956 PLU graduate.
"The Social Sciences Division has an excellent track record," says Dean of Social Sciences Ann Kelleher. While proud of its position in the university, "the building must be transformed from its historic past to provide another level of academic quality and service."
The Board of Regents has determined that planning will begin immediately for the design and development of the new Center for Learning and Technology. The first major new academic building constructed on campus since the Mary Baker Russell Music Center in 1993, the new complex will be approximately 50,000 square feet. The cost of the center is yet to be determined.
"Preliminary planning for this facility is now underway and, soon, development concepts will be turned into preliminary design drawings," Anderson said. "This project will clearly demonstrate that PLU is committed to providing an educational experience that best prepares graduates for successful lives of service in a world heavily influenced by technology."
This new building will advance the use of technology, teaching and learning to the foreground. Housing the School of Business, the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, and the Department of Mathematics, "it offers a unique opportunity to create a space where three disparate units not only share space but program synergy," says Business School Dean Don Bell.
"Through technology the building invites the broader community, reaching out to it by being connected to it. Rather than a series of disjointed parts, the building will be an integrated whole," Bell says.
"I don't know of any institution in the country where plans have been attempted to create such a learning space. It's one of the most interesting, exciting projects I've worked with," Bell added.
"In the early '90s, the endowment was at $6 million; by 1997 it had reached $24 million. Since planning for the campaign, it has nearly doubled, reaching $44 million. In 10 years, the university's endowment fund has grown 750 percent. The entire community worked to change the trend lines of our financial profile."
In a post-banquet interview, Frank Jennings summarized the feelings of campaign leadership. "We are responding by remaining focused on our mission, by strengthening our academic and co-curricular programs, and by securing resources needed to meet these challenges and excel.
"That's what the campaign is all about: collective accomplishments of our faculty, students, alumni and friends, and the critical contributions that they have made and will be making to the human community."