Randolph-Macon College celebrated its success on Friday, February 19 with a gala honoring more than 500 donors who contributed to the historic Building Extraordinary campaign. The campaign, originally a $100 million initiative, surpassed its original goal by reaching $125 million.
The initiative was designed to gather the necessary resources to position R-MC for the next level of excellence through upgrading many facilities, academic departments, and scholarship assistance programs. Launched to the public in 2011, the campaign already had collected $67 million through donations, but as the project continued to flourish, it surpassed its original goal in just over 19 months.
At the gala, President Robert Lindgren wholeheartedly thanked the donors of R-MC.
“Our Building Extraordinary campaign is one of the most significant events in Randolph-Macon’s history,” President Lindgren said. “This astonishing success and incredible transformation was only made possible through the generosity of all members of the R-MC family. We added a new student center, new residence halls, new athletics facilities, and now a new science building. We renovated existing facilities. We boosted an already robust liberal arts curriculum with enriching programs, partnerships and new academic majors. To our alumni and generous donors, I would say, ‘You are the reason for our success. You have helped to make R-MC truly extraordinary.’ On behalf of our current students, faculty and staff – and those who follow in the decades to come – we say thank you.”
Macon F. Brock Jr. ’64, who serves as chair for the Building Extraordinary campaign, and his wife have contributed nearly $28 million, allowing for the priorities of the project to move forward. These priorities include the construction of the Brock Commons student center and many renovations to other buildings on campus.
Birdsong Hall, the upperclassman residential facility, is named for Thomas Birdsong ’49 who also largely contributed to the college’s campaign. New academic programs and state of the art athletic facilities join the list of advances from this campaign. Others have also donated towards the renovations of existing facilities, or the construction of new facilities, and the gala’s speakers made sure to thank those who continue to give to their alma mater and thus allow the school to continue to grow and become extraordinary.
Along with the new student housing and common areas, the project set forth an overall goal of $22.2 million to build a new science building and observatory, and to renovate Copley Science Center and Smithey Hall. According to President Lindgren, R-MC expects to begin construction during summer 2016 and will have a target finish date of summer 2017. He thanked those who donated, saying that the momentous achievement would not have been possible without alumni, friends, parents, and community members.
The importance of alumni to this campaign was not taken lightly, as a remarkable 40 percent of alumni made a gift, thus ranking R-MC first place in alumni loyalty in the Commonwealth.
“The spirit of generosity is at the heart of our R-MC community,” Lindgren said. “It is rooted in the exceptional character of our entire college family, who make investing in the quality of an R-MC education a priority. Especially inspiring is the percentage of alumni who made a gift to the college this past year. The impact of our alumni loyalty ranked 16th among all colleges and universities in the nation last year, which is truly extraordinary. Their generosity throughout the years—especially during the campaign—illustrates their unparalleled dedication and loyalty to R-MC.”
-Erin Roberts ’16, Senior News Editor