QUINCY University's aptly named Forever Forward campaign was celebrated last week as a $25.5 million success.
On the contrary, the campaign's success went far beyond the monetary donations. It also will enrich the university -- and the community -- educationally, culturally, spiritually and recreationally for decades to come.
Forever Forward was publicly launched in late 2015 after more than $15.25 million had been raised during a silent phase that had started in 2011. When the campaign went public, the university expected it would take until sometime in 2020 to raise the remaining funds to meet a $25 million goal.
Finished a year early and $500,000 beyond its goal, this is a fundraiser the community got behind.
Rich and Connie Niemann were among the first to put their money where their hearts were, donating $1 million for the Connie Niemann Center for Music. QU's Center for Science also benefitted from an anonymous gift of $2 million.
Julie Bell, vice president of advancement at QU, told The Herald-Whig that Forever Forward is "the start of a new culture for the university." Bell also made it clear this won't be the last campaign of its type.
"The projects in the campaign have enhanced the experiences of our students, both in and out of the classroom. These improvements, in turn, benefit the university's recruitment and retention efforts, which are critical to our financial sustainability."
The campaign focused on strengthening endowment and modernizing facilities, including the Quincy Media Inc. Television Broadcast Studio, J. Kenneth Nesbit Student Success Center, Legends Stadium, renovations to QU Stadium, and restoration of the historic QU chapel.
Linda Moore and Bill Metzinger were co-chairmen of the campaign.
"With so many needs for scholarships, annual operating expenses and program improvements, it is important to consider long-term capital needs," Metzinger said.
Moore previously said the campaign and the university are focusing on "educating the whole person."
Founded in 1860, QU has an impressive campus that boasts many architecturally significant structures. Those roots matter, but to compete today the school also must meet the needs of today's students. Cutting-edge technology is a necessity to help recruit students.
At the same time the university has to stay affordable to attract new students.
Thanks to generous donors, the school will have funds to help walk that fine line between innovation, affordability and tradition to propel Quincy University forever forward.