SLU exceeds fundraising goal of $225 million

Flags marked with “Every Laurentian” fly from lamp posts on Romoda Drive at St. Lawrence University on Friday. The Campaign for Every Laurentian, a six-year fundraising effort, has exceeded its $225-million goal ahead of the campaign’s conclusion on June 30. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

CANTON — With less than two weeks left in a six-year campaign, St. Lawrence University donors have exceeded a $225-million fundraising goal by $5 million.

The Campaign for Every Laurentian, initiated in 2015 and launched publicly in 2018, has garnered support from some 20,000 donors making more than 70,000 gifts to the liberal arts university, where roughly 2,400 undergraduate students are enrolled. SLU President William L. Fox announced the running total of $230 million this week.

“Truly, this is an extraordinary achievement by our cherished St. Lawrence community,” he said. “I am personally and forever grateful to every Laurentian whose support has made an indelible statement about our university’s importance to the world.”

The conclusion of the campaign coincides with President Fox’s retirement at the end of the month, when Kathryn A. Morris will step in as the university’s 19th president and the second woman in SLU’s 165-year history to head the institution. Her presidency begins July 1.

In February, the university moved $18 million closer to the campaign goal with two planned estate gifts pledged by members of the Board of Trustees. The two gifts, among the 10 largest financial contributions ever made to the university, pushed the campaign to roughly 95% of $225 million.

Eight of the school’s top 10 one-time financial contributions have been made through the campaign, including the largest gift in the university’s history: a 2017 unrestricted gift of $25 million from film producer and Trustee Sarah E. Johnson, Class of 1982, and her parents.

Campaign donations break down into hundreds of major gifts, between $100,000 and $1 million; dozens of principal gifts, $1 million or more; and most gifts individually pledged at less than $1,000. Parents of students and alumni contributed a total of more than $37 million, according to university figures as of this week. Students, alumni and employees also contributed, and a network of more than 3,000 volunteers coordinated outreach efforts.

“Through this campaign, every part of this Laurentian community has invested in the next generation of critical thinkers and problem solvers because they know St. Lawrence prepares its students to make a difference and facilitate change where it’s needed most,” Ms. Johnson, who serves as campaign co-chair, said in a statement. “That’s a powerful testament to the St. Lawrence experience and the people, programs and vision that make it possible.”

The campaign is driven by four funding areas: Endowing Our Future, Learning for the 21st Century, the Power of Connections and Campus Stewardship.

Over the last six years, endowment gifts have totaled $73 million, and more than $13 million has been donated to Learning for the 21st Century efforts, including support for global study experiences, public health and the newly named Fox Center for Academic Opportunity, after President Fox and his wife Lynn Smith Fox.

The Power of Connections has amassed more than $9.9 million, with $3 million of that figure supporting new programs in the Center for Career Excellence. Campus Stewardship targets infrastructure improvements and new construction, with $31.1 million raised for the Richard F. Brush ’52 Quad, Herring Cole and Appleton Arena.

Other donations — more than $44.8 million — have directly bolstered the St. Lawrence Fund, which is used to finance scholarships and academic initiatives.

Five additional funding targets, what the university calls “emerging priorities,” have been identified as the campaign has progressed. Health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, student scholarships, career programming, the St. Lawrence Fund and the Fox Center for Academic Opportunity are listed as emerging priorities.

More information about the campaign is viewable at An announcement of the final total is expected later this summer.

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(1) comment


$74,000 a year tuition and a $316 million endowment they have to go out and collect another $225 million? Hmmm…

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