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Victor raises $1.2 million in under six months

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

With less than six months in office, Mercyhurst University President Michael T. Victor has raised more than $1.2 million, arguably one of the most successful major-gifts fundraising periods in Mercyhurst history, and he has commitments for $1 million more.

The effort did not come in isolation, rather in tandem with other major changes, including overhauling the university’s administrative and academic structure, calendar and liberal arts core curriculum.

“This sustained momentum is designed to make Mercyhurst an even greater university – more intellectually pioneering, more culturally robust and a model of higher education that prepares our students with the critical skills and networks they will need to succeed in today’s global economy,” Victor said. He credited Associate Vice President for Advancement Ryan Palm and his new Vice President for Advancement Caleb Pifer for their efforts.

Among the gifts already in hand are those earmarked for student scholarships, development of a new Communication Computer Lab, and enhancements to the pioneering Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst, particularly in support of its new career path program that helps AIM students obtain jobs after graduation.

Perhaps the most awaited contribution came from an anonymous donor, who has gifted $250,000 for renovations to the Mercyhurst Ice Center, home to the university’s men’s and women’s Division I ice hockey teams.

Phase I of the ice center project, which is underway, includes a redesign of the lobby, including a permanent ticketing station, trophy case, a second set of doors for climate control, new lighting, and fresh carpet and paint. Phase II, thanks to the newest donation, will move forward at the conclusion of this year’s hockey season. It will include elevating seating at the west end of the arena to provide fans with a better vantage point and construction of a new meeting room and locker room facilities for the Mercyhurst varsity men’s and women’s programs. The upgrades will support recruiting efforts by men’s hockey coach Rick Gotkin and women’s head coach Mike Sisti and their respective staffs.

While the latest contribution will allow Phase II to proceed with the basics, the advancement team will continue to fundraise in hopes of making even more significant upgrades.

In addition, fundraising efforts are underway to install a state-of-the-art scoreboard at Tullio Field, home of the Laker football, field hockey, and men’s and women’s lacrosse programs. Fundraising began last fall and is already one third of the way toward the goal.

“Everyone who supports our mission of equipping men and women to learn, serve and lead in today’s world is an essential partner of Mercyhurst University,” Victor said. “We cannot thank our partners enough. Your thoughtful generosity continues to bring student opportunities to new heights.”

All told, the Victor administration has raised $1,281,000 and anticipates receipt of another $1 million in gifts within the next couple months, at which time Victor said he anticipates announcing another significant project.