BISMARCK, ND — Drip. Drip. Drip. That sound of water is heard across North Dakota as the thermometer continues to climb and the snow recedes. Likewise at the University of Mary, as the temperature heats up, fundraising efforts continue to melt away at the $96 million Phase I goal.

The University of Mary announced today it has surpassed the $60 million milestone mark in Phase I of its three-phased $272 million Vision 2030 Campaign.

Jerome Richter Vice President for Public Affairs

Jerome Richter
Vice President for Public Affairs

“We are deeply humbled and forever grateful to all our benefactors and friends of the University of Mary whose contributions have helped us reach this significant milestone,” said Jerome Richter, vice president for the Office of Public Affairs and the person spearheading the Vision 2030 fundraising campaign. “These are families, alumni, corporations and even some anonymous supporters who believe in our mission, centered around the values that come from our founders, the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. We can’t thank them enough.”

Phase I has included investment in faculty formation and numerous building projects and renovations: a new 276-bed women’s residence named Roers Hall; a recently opened 80,000-square-foot fieldhouse; and a new central gathering area on campus called the Lumen Vitae University Center that is expected to be open for the start of the upcoming fall semester in September.

Now the majority of the fundraising efforts, the remaining $36 million of Phase I, are focused around two primary endeavors: the new engineering program that includes the two-level renovation of the current University Dining Center and bookstore on the northwest wing of campus; and numerous scholarships.

“We’re happy to say the University of Mary remains the most affordable Catholic university in America, and we want to continue to be that beacon of hope for all families seeking a higher education for their children or grandchildren,” added Richter. “We understand too many families, not only in North Dakota but across America, are strapped with enormous college debt. With this fundraising push for scholarships, and our innovative and groundbreaking Year-Round Campus program, no student, no matter their faith or financial situation, should be denied the opportunity of a Christian, Catholic and Benedictine education at the University of Mary. Continued donations from friends, families and alum of Mary will help make more scholarships a reality and help lessen any financial hardship. And for that, we are extremely excited for this Phase I homestretch of our campaign.”

Demand for qualified engineers at North Dakota firms and across the country continues to be a crisis situation. And the University of Mary, along with its many engineering partners across the state, is determined to be part of the solution when it comes to providing highly skilled and qualified values-based engineering graduates.

The desperate need for engineers in the Upper Midwest and across the country continues to soar with an estimated employment growth of 20 percent from now until 2022, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to Emsi, a leading national company that uses in-depth labor market data and workforce analytics to assist companies in strategic workforce planning and recruitment, 25% of the current engineers in the United States are 55 years of age or older.

Serving its students and the needs of this region and beyond, has always been the driving force and at the heart of every endeavor at the University of Mary.

Founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 undergraduate, and 14 master’s degrees, and three doctoral programs in Education, Nursing Practice, and Physical Therapy to over 3,000 students from around the world and has campus locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Rome, Italy and Arequipa, Peru as well as vibrant online offerings.