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The College of St. Scholastica

At the annual President’s Holiday Reception on Tuesday, The College of St. Scholastica publicly announced a capital campaign to provide strategic support for its student community. Three campaign goals — building a student center, enhancing student scholarships and preparing for emerging priorities — are the central focus.

“I am excited for the next step in St. Scholastica’s hopeful and exciting future: a two-year effort to raise an additional $14 million dollars for our Saints community. It is my distinct honor to announce the public phase of our A Second Century of Saints: Believe. Belong. Transform.,” President Barbara McDonald said during her speech at the event.

President McDonald also announced the College has already raised $50 million since 2014, which provided funding for multiple projects including $10 million for student scholarships, renovation of the simulation labs in the School of Nursing, the construction of the Health Sciences Center at BlueStone, the addition of $6.5 million to the endowment and the naming of The Stender School of Business and Technology. Since the Board of Trustees approved to enter the campaign’s public phase, the College has already raised an additional $1 million toward the goal.

Chris Dolan '01 speaks on behalf of the campaign co-chairs Mimi Stender and Ryan Dolan.

Chris Dolan ’01 speaks on behalf of the campaign co-chairs Mimi Stender and Ryan Dolan.

Campaign co-chair Chris Dolan ’01 spoke on behalf of the campaign committee co-chairs at the event: “We have the amazing opportunity over the next two years to strengthen the College, but more importantly, to support our students by enhancing their St. Scholastica experience, expanding access, and ensuring success. This campaign will be a catalyst for both the personal transformation of our students and securing the future of this institution,” he said.

During the event, a student panel expressed the importance of investing in these priorities and the impact their completion will have on the student body. Building a student center has been a dream for the college for many years, and its importance was highlighted during the student panel. Jaci Tourtellott ’22, president of the Student Government Association, said: “Unfortunately none of us on the panel tonight will be here to experience the student center but we all know that it will change the experience completely. I can only imagine what my four years would have looked like if we had that space, so to think that future generations, even our freshmen this year, will get to experience even a little bit of that, is going to be really life changing. It’s going to be a whole new college.”

A panel, moderated by Dr. Randall Poole, shares the perspective of current students.

A panel, moderated by Dr. Randall Poole, shares the perspective of current students.

The students also shared how scholarships have made college more possible for them. Rose Carpenter ’22 shared: “I am a first-generation college student and I never thought that funding a private college education would be possible, but thanks to the donors, the scholarships I’ve received have made it possible for me to focus on my academics and the community we are building. The sense of having that help and support really encourages me to do better with my school work.”

Michael Nguyen ’22 added: “Growing up, my parents honestly didn’t think college would be an option. Neither of them graduated from college and once we saw the cost of attending a college like St. Scholastica, it did not look possible for our family. But after I had some scholarships come through that made it more affordable, it was an easy decision to come here. I already had a sense for the community and knew it would be a great place for my education.”

Raising an additional $14 million will allow St. Scholastica to prioritize these student-centered initiatives without incurring new debt or raising tuition, and providing additional scholarship opportunities to keep costs accessible for families is aligned with the college’s Benedictine heritage and values.

“The importance of investing in the students who choose a school like St. Scholastica cannot be understated. To earn a degree in an environment where character development and leadership are woven into the college experience sets these students up to make a meaningful difference in their communities. My husband Tom and I are proud to be part of this campaign initiative,” said campaign co-chair Mimi Stender.

President McDonald expressed thanks to those who have supported St. Scholastica through the years. “We have had wonderful donors who were compelled by our mission of preparing students for a life of purpose who chose to support the College during unprecedented, difficult times, and who stepped up to offer their blessings and gifts in the middle of a global pandemic. These donors embodied our Benedictine values of community, hospitality and stewardship through their generous contributions, and we are grateful,” she said.

More detailed information about A Second Century of Saints: Believe. Belong. Transform. and updates throughout the Campaign can be found at css.edu/campaign.


St. Scholastica is a 109-year-old private, independent college founded in the Catholic Benedictine tradition. It is nationally recognized for quality and value. The College has been included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best National Universities list and is among the state’s Top Performers on Social Mobility. The College is also ranked as a “Best Midwestern college” by Princeton Review, “Best College for Your Money” by Money magazine and Top Colleges for 2021 by Forbes. Learn more at css.edu.

President Barbara McDonald announces campaign milestone and the public phase.
President Barbara McDonald announces campaign milestone and the public phase.