The Opening Doors capital campaign is a $500 million multi-year fundraising effort at the University of St. Thomas. It calls upon alumni, parents of students and alumni, other friends, faculty and staff members, students, and corporations and foundations to support the mission of St. Thomas with gifts for a variety of academic and building priorities. The Anderson Student Center is made possible through the generous donation of St. Thomas Trustee Lee Anderson and his wife, Penny, made in conjunction with the Opening Doors capital campaign. Their donation also provided funding for the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex and Anderson Parking Facility.
With the leadership of Father Dennis Dease, President, and Dr. Mark Dienhart, Executive Vice President, the University of St. Thomas began planning for a new student center on the St. Paul campus. In December 2009, the University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees approved construction of the Anderson Student Center on the northeast corner of Summit and Cretin Avenues. After receiving city-government approvals, St. Thomas began construction of the $66 million student center in May 2010. The building opened in January 2012.