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Mount St. Mary's Surpasses Goal in Concluding Forward! Campaign

Donna Klinger

forward feature

Photo by Mike Miville

In concluding its Forward! Together as One Campaign this month, Mount St. Mary’s University has raised $33.9 million from 10,548 donors in support of the university community’s shared vision to educate the next generation of ethical leaders to lead lives of significance in service to God and others. The campaign, begun in 2018, originally sought to raise $30 million.

aerial-campus-thumbnail.jpg“We are blessed by the generosity of our donors who support the university’s strategic growth in educating the next generation of Mount students in the Catholic intellectual tradition,” said President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “In its 212-year history, the Mount has been nurturing the mind, body and spirit of thousands of Mounties, many of whom who have gone on to make major contributions to society and have given back to their alma mater in countless ways.”

The campaign built on the lasting values of a strong, Catholic liberal arts tradition by making a commitment to enrich the mind, body and spirit of Mount students through increased collaborative learning and cocurricular space, improved lab space and other enhancements in academic facilities; new athletic and recreation facilities; and projects at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.

“These much needed resources will keep Mount St. Mary’s as one of the preeminent Catholic universities,” said Rich Miller, C’74, Forward! Campaign chair and vice chair of the Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees. “I would like to thank President Tim Trainor and Vice President for University Advancement Bob Brennan for their leadership in bringing the Forward! Campaign to a successful conclusion. I am especially grateful to all my associates on the board of trustees for their support in addition to our many friends and alumni across the country.” 

Major projects funded by the campaign include:


  • Knott Academic Center renovation and expansion, funded by a state grant and generous donations from the Bolte Family Foundation and Raphael Della Ratta, C’92. The project includes construction of an approximately 12,140 square foot addition and renovation of the 49,074 square foot existing building.  The upgrade includes enhancing the learning environment and building new classrooms, a Bloomberg Classroom Laboratory and faculty offices.
  • Enhancements to the School of Natural Science and Mathematics, including collaborative and multipurpose learning space in the Delaplaine Family Academic Commons and renovation of Coad Science Building labs, classrooms and offices.


  • A transformational gift to athletics from John J. and Patrick J. Rooney, both C’60, and their spouses JoAnn and Sandy, is substantially funding the Rooney Athletic Performance Center that will promote growth and enhanced performances for the university’s NCAA Division I athletic program as well as increased intramural sport and recreation opportunities for all students.
  • The Palmieri Activities Center, built in 2019, provides space for concerts and other large-scale activities such as bingo as well as student club and organization meetings. The rollup doors allowed mid-size events to be held in the PAC in Fall 2020 as the pandemic restricted use of indoor spaces.


  • A new pathway between Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, to be known as The Way, will allow thousands of people to enjoy a more prayerful journey from the seminary to the National Shrine Grotto. The pathway will offer places for reflection with benches and memorials dedicated to saints.
  • Mount St. Mary’s Seminary has been upgraded with a new HVAC system, water heaters, showers, installation of glass in offices and classroom doors for security and transparency and major repairs to the front porch of McSweeny Hall. The Seminary will continue to raise funds needed for additional repairs and upgrades to the historic buildings, including improved lighting and audio visual in St. Bernard’s Chapel and new windows.

When the economy went into recession due to the global pandemic, Vice President for University Advancement Bob Brennan, C’85, expected that economic conditions would lengthen the Forward! Campaign. However, the Mount community and friends of the university continued to support the campaign, allowing it to close in 2020.

“As many people have said, there is something special about the Mount,” Brennan said. “This campaign is a testament to the generosity and dedication of the university’s alumni and friends who believe in the university’s mission and our vision for the future. The Mount family has ensured a bright future for current and future students.”

Donna Klinger