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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Fundraising campaign kicks into gear, focus placed on first-years

This weekend, after a much-anticipated wait, Loyola launched into the public phase of its new fundraising campaign called, “Bright Minds, Bold Hearts.”

The campaign kick-off featured several events including Fr. James Martin’s lecture “Finding Joy In All Things” accompanied by a panel of Messina faculty and administrators, an official kick-off celebration event, and the annual John Early Society Christmas party.

The celebration event welcomed 250 current and future donors to explore “the best of Loyola University Maryland,” which Fr. Linnane introduced in his keynote at the event. The campaign aims to raise $100 million by 2018 to support ongoing operational funds, the Sellinger School of Business and Management, Loyola College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, the York Road Initiative, athletics, Loyola Clinical Centers, Mission and Ministry, the global studies department, and the Messina program.

Although the kick-off event spotlighted aspects from each of the campaign’s priorities, the Messina program was one of the most important facets of the entire weekend. The campaign’s emphasis on Messina reflects the future of Loyola, as it will soon be a foundation of the university’s academic culture.

The Bright Minds, Bold Hearts campaign hopes raise $19 million in order to enact the changes within the Messing program. While Sellinger’s goal follows closely behind at $17.5 million, the only campaign priority with a higher fundraising goal than Messina’s is Loyola’s Annual Fund, which will receive $22.885 million from the campaign. The Annual Fund covers the portion of the university’s operating budget that tuition does not—approximately 25% of the cost of educating is not paid for in tuition dollars.

Saturday marked the public announcement of the campaign, its financial goal, funding priorities, theme and funds raised to date. The campaign has been ongoing for the past two years in its silent phase.

According to Megan Gillick the University’s vice president of advancement, in this phase of the campaign, the university reached out to its core supporters to gain initial traction for the new campaign. As of Saturday night, the campaign had raised $43.2 million, with about 48% of funds fully donated and 52% of funds in pledges and future gifts.

The campaign focuses priorities around a few key ideas. “Bright Minds, Bold Hearts: …includes funding opportunities that reaffirm our commitment to Jesuit values, better prepare students for today’s complex challenges, and strengthen Loyola’s impact and national prominence,” according to the campaign’s website.

To develop these priorities and specific fundraising goals, Loyola administrators were asked to provide wish lists for their schools and offices.

“As part of their presentations, these leaders were asked to describe distinguishing features of their program in 5 years, 10 years and 20 years and what specific investments would be required to get them there,” explained Gillick.  “In addition, they were asked how the fundraising priorities they proposed would enhance one or more of the signature areas identified in Loyola’s Strategic Plan—Messina, Global Studies, etc.—as well as the university’s commitment to core values,” she added.

These core values—including academic excellence, diversity, leadership and a constant challenge to improve, among others—were particularly praised by Fr. Martin at the beginning of his talk on Saturday afternoon. Martin lauded the Loyola community for its enthusiasm and bond to Ignatian values, and he was especially impressed with Loyola’s choice of name for the Messina Program. As Martin informed the audience, Messina is the city in Italy where the first Jesuit university was opened for lay students.

“[The name] represents commitment to education,” explained Messina Program Co-Director Mike Puma.

Using the foundation from Loyola’s previous first-year programs, Alpha and FE 100, and drawing some inspiration from the Loyola’s honors program, Messina brings together a group of two faculty members, an administrator and Evergreens to work as a team with 16 first-year students. Two seminar courses, which are also core classes, like Effective Writing or Introduction to Theology, are paired for students to take during the first two semesters at Loyola. These courses are designed to help transition first-year students into college-level academics. Unlike ordinary first-year seminar courses, there is an additional hour each week where students meet as a class with their professor, administrator and Evergreen. This extra hour each week can be used for a variety of co-curricular activities and opportunities at the discretion of the class’s working group.

By the Fall 2015 semester, Messina will be a required living and learning program for all first-year students. Last year the program was piloted through three sections of the honors program, while one third of the class of 2017 is taking Messina classes this year. Two thirds of next fall’s incoming first-year class will be expected to take part in the program.

“I think it’s relevant to everyone on campus,” Gillick said. With an emphasis on preserving Loyola’s future, the Bright Minds, Bold Hearts campaign has a special interest in supporting the Messina Program, though it does seek to expand and fund areas across the University.

“For our donors, Messina is kind of a new program,” said Gillick. “This is one of the most important parts of the campaign and a good way to highlight the program.”

To learn more about the Bright Minds, Bold Hearts campaign and the Messina Program visit

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Fundraising campaign kicks into gear, focus placed on first-years