Generously created by members of the University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees, a new $20 million fund will match all levels of gifts received through the end of the Opening Doors capital campaign on Oct. 17, or until the fund is exhausted.

 “With just months to go in our campaign, this challenge grant could not have come at a better time,” said Father Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas. Gifts and pledges currently total more than $455 million.

Matching dollars for gifts of $1,000 or more will be directed to the same fund as the donor’s gift, while matching dollars for gifts of less than $1,000 will be directed to St. Thomas’ endowed scholarship funds.

“Being able to double gifts of all levels is an incredible gift to the St. Thomas community,” said Dease. “This matching fund will allow donors of any amount to increase the impact of their giving. The added opportunity to have matching dollars go toward a donor’s specific area of interest is an extraordinary thing in the fundraising world, and we’re very fortunate to have it. The fact that it comes from our trustees is no surprise. They have been our primary source of leadership and inspiration in this campaign.”

A similar challenge match of $25 million by an anonymous donor during the 2011-12 academic year was successful in attracting $25 million of smaller gifts over a period of several months.

Since the Opening Doors campaign began its public phase in October 2007, more than 40,000 alumni, parents, students, trustees, faculty and staff members, and other friends of St. Thomas have made commitments to a wide variety of campaign priorities.

More than 20 campus priorities were identified for funding at the beginning of the campaign, the largest being need-based, merit-based and other scholarship dollars for students. Nearly $100 million in gifts and pledges has been raised for financial aid as part of the Opening Doors campaign.

Among the campaign’s many other achievements to date:

  • More than 250 new endowed scholarships have been established, each funded by a commitment of at least $50,000.
  • New endowed chairs and professorships, as well as other endowed funds, have been established.
  • Significant program and facility enhancements have been made on the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Owatonna campuses, including the new Anderson Student Center (2012) and Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex (2010) in St. Paul.

“This generosity by members of our Board of Trustees will inspire, I hope, many more alumni and friends to contribute to the Opening Doors campaign,” said Dease. “I am grateful to everyone who has supported our efforts so far, and am hopeful that this wonderful matching opportunity will provide the impetus we need to reach this ambitious goal which is now within sight.”

To help St. Thomas students immediately, give a gift online now.