Scranton Celebrates Pride, Passion, Promise Campaign Success


The University of Scranton celebrated surpassing the $125 million goal of the Pride, Passion, Promise Campaign at a dinner attended by nearly 200 major benefactors, trustees, campaign committee members, students, faculty, administrators and staff. Held on campus on May 10, the celebration highlighted the transformative impact the campaign has had on the Jesuit university.

In his remarks, Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., president of The University of Scranton, referred to the audacity of setting the campaign goal at an unprecedented level as “jumping off a cliff … but with God’s grace we landed safely.”

The Pride, Passion, Promise Campaign, which will officially close Tuesday, May 31, has raised $128.5 million as of May 10. This amount represents one and a half times as much money collected in all the capital campaigns in the University’s history combined. Through the campaign, the University received 109 gifts of $100,000 or more, which include the largest individual donations in the Jesuit school’s history.

Father Pilarz said throughout the campaign, students were its inspiration.

“Providing better opportunities for our students has always been the motivation behind our work – whether as a donor, a volunteer, or a staff member. You are the heart of the matter,” said Father Pilarz.

Representing the student body, Brett Niehaus, a junior from Fort Myers, Fla., said in his remarks, that the “campaign was making a difference in a significant way in the lives of students.” He explained that during his three years at Scranton, he “has seen the campus grow with me.”

Funds raised through the Pride, Passion, Promise Campaign support capital projects, as well as enhance Scranton’s endowment and annual resources.

Father Pilarz and others also acknowledged the generous support The University of Scranton received from its alumni and friends and the leadership provided by campaign co-chairs Christopher “Kip” Condron, chair of the Board of Trustees, and his wife Margaret Condron, Ph.D., as well as the support of the Campaign Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees. 

Capital projects  supported by the campaign include the 118,000-square-foot Patrick & Margaret DeNaples Center; the 386-bed, 108,000-square-foot Christopher and Margaret Condron Hall; the 22,000-square-foot John and Jacquelyn Dionne Campus Green; the renovation of The Estate as a new home for Admissions; the high-tech, simulated trading floor of the Alperin Financial Center in Brennan Hall; the renovation of the former Visitor’s Center into to the Chapel of the Sacred Heart; the expansion and renovation of the Retreat Center at Chapman Lake; the 189,000-square-foot apartment and fitness complex on Mulberry Street; and the 200,000-square-foot unified science center, currently under construction.

“The Dionne Campus Green has changed the way staff, faculty and students interact with each other,” said Student Government President Rita Dileo of Factoryville at the celebration. The graduating senior, who will spend the next year volunteering for Teach For America, said she now truly understands the “bond and love alumni share for Scranton.”

In addition to capital projects, the campaign raised funds to support scholarship and academic enrichment, funding more than 120 endowed need- and merit-based scholarships, as well as faculty chairs and professorships, and academic- and student-life programs. The campaign also supported annual resources. This includes a tuition-assistance endowment to provide need-based aid for qualified and deserving students, as well as a program and academic excellence endowment to support academic programs and student/faculty scholarship.

In his remarks, Criminal Justice Professor Harry Dammer, Ph.D., expressed the gratitude of faculty members for the quality of resources this campaign has provided for teaching. He mentioned the buildings, grounds and technology that enhance the teaching and learning environment, as well as support of faculty research, enrichment programs and the investment in recruiting highly motivated and qualified new faculty members.

“Thank you for the confidence you have in the future of the University and in the future of Catholic and Jesuit education,” said Dr. Dammer to the donors and campaign organizers.

Also speaking at the event were John R. Mariotti, D.D.S. ’75,  Trustee Frank Pearn, Rev. Thomas E. Roach, S.J., rector of the Scranton Jesuit Community, and Patrick Leahy, Ed.D., executive vice president at The University of Scranton.

The Pride, Passion, Promise Campaign’s original goal of $100 million was announced in April 2008. Early enthusiastic support encouraged the Board of Trustees and Campaign Executive Committee to raise the goal to $125 million in January 2010.

The campaign will continue to accept gifts until it officially closes on May 31.

To view photos of the celebration, click here

To see the video shown at the celebration, click here.

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