Augustana College announced a successful fundraising campaign and celebrated by lighting up the Quad Cities sky.
The blue lights on the dome of Old Main, located on 7th Avenue in Rock Island, will shine gold throughout 2021, a news release says. The change comes after an announcement that the college has surpassed its $125-million dollar goal for its “Augustana Now” campaign.
The goal was surpassed by over $8 million dollars for a total of $133,662,741 million raised from more than 13,000 donor households.
“We set an audacious goal, and it took the hard work and shared vision of literally thousands of people to surpass that goal by millions of dollars,” said Kent Barnds, executive vice president for external relations and the leader for philanthropy at Augustana.
The public phase of the campaign launched in October 2018. The campaign had four main student-centered objectives: affordability, preparation, innovation, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
“When we launched the campaign, we announced we’d be temporarily changing the lighting on the dome to blue, with a plan to go gold when we reached $125 million,” Barnds said. “At that time, the year 2021 and our fundraising goal seemed so far off.”
Augustana turned on the dome’s gold lights on New Year’s Eve with a celebration shared across the globe via YouTube. In celebration of the campaign goal being met, the newly gold dome will shine brightly through 2021.
“Old Main, as the most iconic building on campus, and the lights of the dome symbolize the Augustana experience for countless alumni. In a way, it represents how our alumni become beacons for good in the world, for the world,” Barnds explained.
This fundraising campaign is the second completed by President Steven C. Bahls during his 18 years at the helm. Barnds said. “Steve Bahls has cemented himself in the history of the college as the leader to raise the most money to benefit Augustana students.”
Among a full list of programs, initiatives, and innovations, the campaign fuels funding for:
· 167 newly funded scholarships
· Back-to-back national awards for commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
· $53.5 million investments in campus construction in last 6 years
· New majors in data analytics and kinesiology to match high-demand careers
· New master’s degree program in Speech Language Pathology