Lighting the Way

mccrary_small_flipped As a senior at UST in 2003, I planned to be an active alumna after graduation, but I never imagined I would one day be a full-time UST employee raising funds for my alma mater. But more than a decade later, here I am, serving as the campaign director for the most ambitious fundraising effort in UST history. Faith in Our Future: The Campaign for the University of St. Thomas is lighting the way for unprecedented growth and the elevation of UST’s academic excellence for our students. Launched in 2009, the campaign is focused on three key priorities:
  1. providing the facilities and infrastructure to help meet the region’s demand for leaders in STEM, nursing and other market-driven healthcare fields
  2. providing graduates with a strong liberal arts foundation that includes the performing and fine arts as well as the sciences
  3. enhancing student success through scholarships and program support
Success to Celebrate With a goal of $170 million, the campaign is comprised of four phases. We have raised more than $118 million (nearly 69% of the goal), successfully completing the first two phases. They included:
  • $15 million, providing five endowed chairs and program support for the Carol and Odis Peavy School of Nursing
  • $103 million to construct the new Center for Science and Health Professions, to bolster student scholarships, and to enhance endowments and academic programs
Work to Do With $52 million more to raise, our campaign efforts over the next year will focus on raising:
  • $515,000 for the chemistry lab furniture, equipment and audio/visual in the Center for Science and Health Professions by December 31, 2016
  • $5.1 million in scholarship gifts for The St. Thomas Fund, including increased support for Mardi Gras 2017—UST’s signature event
  • Leadership gifts for the new Performing and Fine Arts Center on the UST campus (View new building renderings)
  • Endowment/sustainability fund for the Center for Science and Health Professions building
Most Pressing It’s easy to see the results of our donors’ generosity first hand, as the new 103,000-square-foot Center for Science and Health Professions takes shape on campus. (View our time-lapse construction video.) The center is scheduled to open to students in spring of 2017, but we still must secure approximately $515,000 by December 31, 2016, to outfit its state-of-the-art chemistry labs for our students. Currently, the labs are our highest priority, and I encourage our UST community’s support. Contributions provide vital equipment for all lab purposes, including UST’s renowned undergraduate research program. Longer term, we want to secure $3M to establish a sustainability fund to operate the center. While the health and science disciplines are critical to the future of UST and the Houston community, the performing and fine arts are also an essential part of UST’s core curriculum. I believe it is the marriage of the sciences with UST’s strong liberal arts foundation that sets our grads apart and develops them into the well-rounded leaders that today’s society and employment market desperately need. The campaign will augment UST’s arts programs with a much-needed new venue – a 70,000-square-foot Performing and Fine Arts Center to showcase our students’ talents and attract larger-scale audiences for world-class lectures, concerts and performances. We seek lead benefactors for this project, with the goal of securing approximately $30 million in total to fund the facility. Our goals are high and we must work hard to achieve them, but our students are worth it. Others did it for me and for past generations of UST students, and now it is up to us to light the way for the future of our university, students and community. I have faith in our future. I have faith in you. Thank you for your support – yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s. Meredith Stasny McCrary ‘03 Senior Campaign Director