Trustees meet, discuss upcoming projects

The Board of Trustees convened for meetings on Oct. 28 and 29 to analyze the University’s progress as it reaches the halfway point of the Board’s 10-year plan.  The Business Meeting of the Board of Trustees on Friday covered a range of topics, including the past year’s record-breaking contributions to the annual fund as well as the approval of $1.5 million towards design and construction plans for a new residence hall.  While the year-to-year funds of the University grow, the most pressing issue of the meeting was the kickoff of a massive capital campaign, which has been shaped by the Board to address the needs of the school.

On the heels of Friday’s official dedication of Weyerhaeuser Hall, the University announced the launch of the public phase of its “One [of a Kind]” campaign.  The campaign, which seeks to raise $125 million in capital, collected $74 million during its quiet phase and is the most ambitious fundraising project in the University’s history.

The initiative, which funded the $18 million Weyerhaeuser Hall and Commencement Walk, will also spend $17.5 million to renovate athletic facilities and the aquatic center.  In addition, funds raised will augment the annual fund and endowment, which work to keep student tuition low even as the cost of education rises.  $44 million of the fund will contribute to expanding student scholarships, while $16 million will provide a variety of resources for faculty.  The success of the campaign will affect the future of the University as the Board of Trustees seeks to create a higher degree of academic excellence while retaining the unique character of the residential college.

The University’s strategic plan has already created a noticeable impact on campus life, including the construction of Harned Hall, increasing the applicant pool from 3,500 to 7,000 the creation of new programs, specifically in the sciences, not previously available to students.  Alumni contributions have also increased significantly since the implementation of the plan, which aims to “innovate, inspire, engage, and invest” in order to push the University towards a higher degree of scholarship.  Proponents of the plan point to the increasing success of University of Puget Sound graduates in acquiring fellowships and doctorates as a sign that the strategy has already proven effective.

Information on the capital campaign and the University’s strategic plan are available on the University website.