Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 11:45 pm, Fri Nov 30, 2012.
Kickoff of ‘Forging the Future' set for 12:30 p.m.
Kentucky Wesleyan College will launch a $21 million capital campaign in a kick off event at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Rogers Hall at the Winchester Center.
Dubbed "Forging the Future," the three-year campaign is slated to fund technology upgrades, new student housing, building and grounds renovations, new and existing academic programs, campus safety and security and scholarship support.
President Craig Turner said Friday the fundraising effort is only the beginning.
"What we're looking for in renovations won't begin until the campaign ends, so this is at least a five-year plan," Turner said. "Corporate support, foundational grants, alumni giving — we plan to look wherever we reasonably can."
"We feel like the education of our students is the responsibility of the whole community. It's our job to reach out."
It was the success of every student, he said, that called to him from the start.
"At KWC, we know our students by name," he said. "We want every individual student to have the best possible experience he or she can."
That includes a job after graduation, he said.
Turner and a team of like-minded professionals look at occupational trends both regionally and across the nation.
With the expansion of Owensboro Medical Health System, Turner said he wants new programs in health care. Business, he said, may be next.
"This fall, we added an immensely successful band program," he said. "Track and field, too. A traditional, liberal arts college like ours can't offer graduate level work, but we can do a lot with programs that make sense at the undergraduate level. So we're asking, what can we do to build on that success?"
Scholarships, he said, may affect students the most.
Data collected through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid estimated the average family contribution for 26 percent of KWC's incoming fall class was less than $100.
"That's one in four students who get little to no financial support for higher education," Turner said. "There's a greater need for scholarships than I've ever seen in my career."
Turner said 97 percent of KWC students receive some kind of financial aid, including work study and scholarships granted by need, talent or academic achievement.
The school's last capital campaign "Changing Lives" yielded $24 million — $4 million more than its stated goal — between 1997 and 2002.
Megan Harris, 691-7302, firstname.lastname@example.org