|LSSU Hits South Hall Matching Gift Challenge Goal|
April 2, 2014/LSSU News
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – After being closed for nearly 10 years, Lake Superior State University’s South Hall is another step closer to opening its doors to students again. The LSSU Foundation announced this week it has met the goal for the “Bring it Home” funding challenge to help fund the $12 million project to refurbish the building.
As part of the South Hall Opportunity campaign (SoHO), the challenge was issued last December by an anonymous donor group to match all new gifts and pledges to the South Hall Renovation Project until April 1. Thanks to the generosity of many hundreds of alumni and LSSU friends, the Foundation has reached the goal established by the challenge. Many supporters stepped up in the closing days of the challenge to take advantage of the dollar-for-dollar match.
“To say we’re pleased about this outcome is an understatement,” said Thomas Coates, executive director of the LSSU Foundation. “During this campaign, we’ve realized some extraordinary gifts to LSSU from across our constituency. Some of the donors wish to remain anonymous, and we respect that desire.”
According to the Foundation, the most donations made during the challenge were received from LSSU alumni, particularly graduates of the business program. Some targeted appeals went out to LSSU employees during the match period and those, too, saw great participation. There were also some additional gifts from the university leadership and advisory boards, including the LSSU Board of Trustees, LSSU Foundation board of directors, LSSU Alumni Association board, the Lukenda School of Business Professional Advisory Board, and the LSSU president’s staff.
The South Hall campaign will continue as the Foundation closes out some additional proposals and concludes the accounting for the appeal. In recognition of major contributions to the project, areas of the renovated building will be named in honor of benefactors, contributing companies and foundations, or in memory of someone special in the life of LSSU as a place of higher learning and as former U.S. Army Fort Brady.
“This is a very exciting moment for all of us at Lake Superior State University,” said LSSU President Tony McLain, who noted that one of the original plans called for demolition of the building. “After many years of planning and thinking how to best preserve South Hall, the adaptive re-use of the building will come down as one of the most important and invigorating building projects on this campus. We’re very pleased that we have saved this historic building and will see it returned to a classroom facility and so much more. We should all take great pride in this accomplishment and for bringing it home for our students.”
The LSSU Foundation launched the South Hall Opportunity, a $3 million capital campaign to fund LSSU’s share of the state-supported $12 million project, in October 2011. The project will modernize one of LSSU’s historic Fort Brady-1900s era buildings to provide a home for the new Lukenda School of Business. The business school naming, in honor of alumnus Louis B. Lukenda DDS of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was announced in February 2013.
According to the LSSU Foundation, more information will be available as the campaign closes and the final gift announcements are made. Meanwhile, those who still wish to donate to the South Hall Opportunity, or want to learn more about the project, may do so at lssu.edu/soho.