Christendom College publicly launched a comprehensive, $40 million campaign on Friday, September 9, the most ambitious financial campaign in the history of the college. The initiative is the cornerstone of the college’s commitment to expand its impact, as it boldly moves forward as a leader in Catholic higher education.
The campaign, titled A Call to Greatness, was publicly rolled out during a special on-campus ceremony on Friday, which brought together the college’s staff, faculty, many generous benefactors, and the college’s board of directors.
“At this critical point in the history of our country, in the history of our Church, and in the history of our college, this campaign will strengthen and advance Christendom as a shining beacon of hope,” said president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, during the ceremony launching the campaign. “There are too many people wounded and suffering in our world who have no hope, and Christendom remains one of the best-kept secrets. We need to let people know that there is this place, on over 200 acres overlooking the Shenandoah River, where Christ reigns as king. Because He reigns as king here, students are joyful and happy, because they are living in the truth — the truth for which God made them.”
The campaign will raise $40 million by 2018, in celebration of the college’s 40th anniversary. To date, the college has already raised over $28 million for the campaign — 72% of the final goal.
Christendom College is in the midst of an unprecedented period of growth, with the college nearly doubling its physical campus to 200 gorgeous acres over the past few years and with plans to open a new residence hall in 2017. The college, which recently celebrated a new record enrollment for its 2016-17 academic year, is preparing to bring in its largest class in history for the fall of 2017 as well.
As the college continues to flourish, A Call to Greatness will help to expand the mission of Christendom College through three goals. First, through the $13.5 million Christ the King Project. The spiritual, intellectual, and social heart of the campaign, the new Christ the King Chapel is the most ambitious building project in the college’s 39 year history, featuring a doubled seating capacity and a 130 foot Gothic bell tower that will rise out of the Shenandoah Valley and be visible for miles. The new chapel will have a traditional, cruciform structure, with an elegant high altar at the center, refurbished, historic bells for the bell tower, eight prayer altars, and an Our Lady’s chapel behind the altar.
The new chapel will be constructed on recently purchased land, enabling Christendom to preserve the beauty of the old chapel by converting it into a center for the college community’s vibrant Catholic culture. The campus’ St. Lawrence Commons, which was recently upgraded with a new dining hall, will be further expanded with an upgraded pedestrian piazza.
In addition to the new chapel, A Call to Greatness will also raise $13.5 million for the college’s endowment fund — doubling it as a result. By doing so, the college will ensure its financial and institutional stability, protecting the future of the college by generating permanent financial resources.
Christendom, since its founding, has not accepted any money from the federal government, allowing it to remain free to teach the fullness of Catholic doctrine. Doubling the endowment preserves and strengthens the college’s independence from the encroachment of the federal government, while maintaining its academic excellence, thus attracting the best and brightest students in America with competitive scholarships and financial support.
The campaign will also raise $13 million for the college’s annual fund, making the Christendom educational experience possible each year by covering the gap between the cost of educating students and the revenue the college receives.
The annual fund will cover the college’s two largest areas of expenses each year during the life of the campaign. First, the annual fund will cover the college’s Freedom Fund for Student Financial Aid, which makes it possible for Christendom to continue to recruit and teach students, without the support of the federal government. Second, the annual fund will cover the day-to-day operating costs of the college, ensuring a top-notch educational experience for students both in and outside the classroom.
The three pillars of the campaign, once fulfilled, will allow Christendom to continue to flourish for generations to come, as it teaches and forms students to go out and “restore all things in Christ.”
“Christendom, this shining beacon of hope, will shine out for our families, it will shine out for our country, and for our Church as well, as we strengthen and advance the college as a center of Catholic educational excellence,” said O’Donnell in his concluding remarks. “All of us, united together, are making a difference. We can continue to accomplish great things for Christ, through this precious educational apostolate, which is Jesus Christ.”
Friday evening’s public launch of the campaign was held on the building site of the new Christ the King Chapel, with the outline of the new chapel illuminated for the over two-hundred guests in attendance to visualize.
For more information about the campaign, please visit the college’s newly launched website campaign.christendom.edu.