University of Puget Sound kicks off $125M fundraising effort

University of Puget Sound announced Saturday the public phase of a $125 million capital campaign — the most ambitious in the college’s 123-year history.

“One [of a Kind] The Campaign for University of Puget Sound” was unveiled at a special evening event on campus for more than 400 alumni and friends of the university. The campaign will endow faculty positions in innovative, interdisciplinary programs; build new facilities for learning and research; and expand scholarships for students and support for faculty members.

Campaign co-chairs and Puget Sound trustees Bill Weyerhaeuser and Rick Brooks announced that $74 million has been raised during the campaign’s quiet phase over the past four years, including funding for Weyerhaeuser Hall, a new interdisciplinary center for health sciences. Gifts received to date include substantial contributions to financial aid and scholarship programs, including an $8 million gift from the Lillis Foundation of Littleton, Colo.

The comprehensive campaign is the first the University of Puget Sound has conducted in more than a decade and the first to be launched under President Ronald R. Thomas, who joined Puget Sound in July 2003. Under Thomas’s leadership, the university has created “Defining Moments: The Strategic Plan for University of Puget Sound” and a comprehensive master plan to ensure that the campus is poised to meet the changing demands of higher education in the decades to come.

Campaign goals include the following:

I. Endowment

$44 million for expanded scholarships, to make college affordable for the diverse range of students who meet Puget Sound’s high academic standards. Currently 90 percent of undergraduate students receive merit- or need-based financial aid, and nearly two-thirds of students receive need-based aid.

$16 million for faculty support, including funding for research, student mentoring, campus academic activities, library resources, faculty sabbatical leaves, endowed chairs in various academic departments, and community engagement programs such as the Civic Scholarship Initiative, Sound Policy Institute, and Race and Pedagogy Initiative.

$3 million for athletics and campus life programs, including funds for student leadership development, multicultural enrichment, academic residential seminars, and athletic and orientation activities.

II. Facilities

$18 million for Weyerhaeuser Hall, an interdisciplinary center for health and behavioral sciences with public clinics for physical and occupational therapy; and for Commencement Walk, both of which were completed in summer 2011 with funds raised during the campaign’s quiet phase.

$17.5 million for a new athletics and aquatics center that will replace the 55-year-old pool and update the fitness center and athletics facilities for Puget Sound’s NCAA Division III athletics teams, club sports, intramurals, and recreational activities. Athletic facilities are a critical component of a residential liberal arts college, where students take part in a 24/7 living and learning experience.

III. Annual Giving

$26.5 million that will be raised through annual giving and restricted operating gifts, both of which support the university’s general operations as it pursues its mission of preparing graduates to live creative and productive lives.

For more about “One [of a Kind] The Campaign for Puget Sound,” visit .

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University of Puget Sound Weyerhaeuser Hall grand opening ceremony Oct. 28 —

Weyerhaeuser Hall opens on University of Puget Sound campus —

University of Puget Sound $22M health sciences center will be named Weyerhaeuser Hall —