“We know it’s an ambitious goal, but we believe it is attainable.”
With those words, Bloomsburg University President David Soltz announced the public launch of It’s Personal: The Campaign for Bloomsburg University on Oct. 16, 2015.
The $50 million fundraising campaign, the largest in Bloomsburg University’s history, is about impact, Soltz said, “impact that is personal to you as a donor or volunteer and personal for the students and faculty members you support.”
The It’s Personal campaign raised nearly $37 million during the private phase that began July 1, 2010, demonstrating the support of thousands of alumni and friends. That total reached $38.2 million by Dec. 31, 2015, but, Soltz acknowledged, “there is still more work to be done.”
Why It’s Personal? Because that’s Bloomsburg University’s ultimate goal: to provide a personal educational experience with a profound impact each alumnus will carry far beyond graduation.
Every BU graduate has a story about his or her BU experience … stories about new friends, new ideas and new opportunities that helped shape them into the people they’ve become. No matter how different those stories may be, each reflects the university’s commitment to preparing students for personal and professional success. Through the It’s Personal campaign, BU is strengthening that commitment.
As the campaign was officially launched inside a transformed Nelson Field House on Oct. 16, 2015, BU President David Soltz and other speakers made it clear that the goal was not just to raise $50 million. “Tonight, we celebrate our opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of current and future Bloomsburg University students,” Soltz said.
Then, with the help of Roongo, BU’s mascot, and several student-athletes, Soltz shared the result of contributions received from more than 14,800 donors during the campaign’s private phase: nearly $37 million.
The campaign and its priorities also were introduced at a similar event in Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute and an outdoor rally for faculty, staff and students on the Academic Quadrangle.
Areas of Opportunity
“In 2010, President David Soltz and Bloomsburg University identified areas of opportunity where support would be most effective in helping to elevate Bloomsburg University to even greater heights,” said Duane Greenly ’72, chair of the campaign cabinet. “Tonight, that vision is coming to fruition with the launch of the It’s Personal campaign and its ambitious goal of $50 million.
“The end result of the campaign is its impact on students: ensuring access to high-quality faculty, a curriculum tailored to students’ passions, and opportunities to help them ease the debt they may incur throughout their time here.”
Money raised during the campaign will be dedicated to funding areas identified as most beneficial to current and future students and to the university’s continued success. They are: new academic and athletic scholarships; recruitment, support and retention of outstanding faculty; and professional experiences for students.
Key to the success of the It’s Personal campaign are alumni, friends, parents and other members of the Bloomsburg University community whose parti-cipation, support and generosity will help the university reach its goal. “Bloomsburg University is fortunate,” Soltz said, “to have individuals who share their time, talents and resources in support of our students.”
The impact of the campaign will be heard, as well as felt. “After being silent for nearly 25 years, the bell located atop Carver Hall has finally rung again,” Soltz added, explaining the significance of recent repairs to the bell located inside the iconic building’s tower. “Throughout the course of the campaign, its ringing will serve as a symbol of the very powerful and personal nature of giving.”
As the campaign launch event continued, stories from alumni, performances by theater students, and testimonials from supporters illustrated that It’s Personal is more than just a campaign theme. The strongest example came from Courtney Dunn, a 2015 BU graduate and recipient of the Helen and Ervene Gulley and Ellen Barker Memorial scholarships.
“Throughout my time as a Husky, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who helped raise me up,” Dunn said. “From the scholarships I received and the donors who made those scholarships possible, to the faculty who mentored me and helped me find my passion, I know that it’s these individuals who have helped shape my life forever.” •
Tom Schaeffer is communications coordinator for the Bloomsburg University Foundation.