The University Campaign for Lees-McRae surpasses fundraising goal of $30 million

Announced during a recent celebration in Evans Auditorium within the Cannon Student Center, the University Campaign exceeded its goal of $30 million in funds with a final balance of more than $32 million.

The campaign was created to raise funds to enhance academic programs with the addition of new faculty and graduate programs, strengthen scholarship assistance, modernize campus with improvements to classrooms, laboratories and athletic complexes as well as bolster essential endowment and operating funds.

The celebration brought together the campus and High Country communities to mark the end of the campaign.

Campaign co-chair and trustee Dianne May presented the final total on behalf of herself and fellow co-chair and trustee Barbara Miller Whitton who was not in attendance.

“We are most grateful to all of you, our donors and constituents, for your participation and support of this transformative initiative that will make a difference in the learning and teaching experience for our students, staff and faculty here at Lees-McRae,” said May. “I am pleased to share with you that to date we have secured $32,177, 477 in cash and documented pledges.”

Before the campaign was publicly announced in 2017, many projects were completed as part of a silent phase. This included building of the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences, renovations to the Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons as well as the establishment of the BB&T Leadership Institute within the School of Business and Management.

With the closing of the campaign, improvements will begin on projects such as renovations to the Arthur Student Recreation Complex and the development of an arts village—a renovated home for the communication arts and design program.

The celebration not only marked the end of the campaign, but also the final days of Dr. Barry M. Buxton’s tenure as president of Lees-McRae.

McNair Tornow, Board of Trustees Chairman, shared his thoughts on the completion of the campaign as well as his sentiments towards Buxton’s leadership through the years.

“We wouldn’t have tonight, a Board of Trustees or Lees-McRae if we didn’t have Barry,” Tornow said.

He continued his remarks with a lighthearted comparison between Buxton’s passion for cycling, and Lees-McRae’s climb “onward and upward.”

“Just like in cycling, [Lees-McRae] continued to move forward,” he said. “Regardless of the obstacle, a flat tire, getting a little lost or otherwise, we never lost sight of our goal—the finish line.”

Learn more about the University Campaign for Lees-McRae here.
By Nina MastandreaJune 01, 2018
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