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University celebrates launch OF $35 Million Campaign

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2019 - 12:00 PM All News , Alumni

Members of the Western New England University community gathered Tuesday, March 5 at MGM Springfield to celebrate the launch of a comprehensive fundraising campaign designed to enrich the student experience inside and outside of the classroom. Named the "Campaign for Our Second Century," the effort aims to raise at least $35 million in private support for a range of priorities that will build on the institution's historic first century and shape its future progress.

"This is indeed an exciting time for the University, as 2019 also marks our Centennial," Western New England President Anthony S. Caprio told the approximately 200 invited guests, noting the institution got its start in a YMCA building just a few feet away from where they were gathered.

"The Campaign for Our Second Century will help propel us into the future, and it will ensure that we can continue to deliver a dynamic learning experience for all students to come in this next 100 years."

Addressing his fellow alumni and supporters, University trustee and Campaign cochair John J. Brennan '71 cited the importance of his time at Western New England to his development as a young man and a young engineer, giving thanks to the generosity of others who made it possible.

"The land and the buildings that make up Western New England... did not just spring up out of thin air, nor were they supported totally by tuition and fees," he said. "They were the result of contributions made by alumni, and in many cases leaders of the community who saw the contributions that Western New England could make to the region."

"As a business owner, I get to interview many young professionals and I can unequivocally say that our students are some of the best," added Brennan, who serves as President and CEO of Summit Company in Houston, TX. "I receive letters from and get to meet students that are the recipients of scholarships I support and I am always impressed."

Current and future Western New England students will be the direct beneficiaries of the most ambitious fundraising effort in the University's history. The number one priority of the Campaign is to increase student aid through donor-funded scholarships. In recent years, full-time undergraduate enrollment has grown to record levels, with more than 98 percent of students receiving financial aid through scholarships, grants, and loans.

Other campaign priorities include building new and enhancing existing campus facilities; creating impactful opportunities for student life; boosting academic initiatives and experiences; and strengthening the President's Fund for Excellence.

The University has already secured more than $30 million in new gifts and commitments to advance Western New England during the Campaign's pre-launch phase, which began in 2016. Lead gifts were made by the Campaign's Honorary Chairpersons-Kevin S. Delbridge''77 and Janet Johnson Bullard '69. To date, more than 4,000 individual alumni, friends, and foundations have made commitments.

Along with the honorary chairs, Western New England University alumni Denis G. Gagnon G'76, Laura Sturgis Boulé '01/G'02, and Brennan serve as campaign cochairs. The reception at MGM Springfield was hosted by Gagnon, President and CEO of Excel Dryer, Inc., and Michael J. Flynn '82/G'83, CEO of Hampden Engineering.

For details about the Campaign for Our Second Century, visit wne.edu/campaign.
See photos of the event here.