On June 23, 2009, Marian University received a historic $6 million gift from a former trustee. The amount of the gift—given as a $1 million check and a 10-year pledge of $500,000 annually—represents the single largest gift from an individual ever made to the university. “We are, of course, grateful for this gift, which will do much to move the university’s comprehensive fundraising effort to new heights,” said Marian University president Daniel J. Elsener. Including this gift, the university has raised over $55 million toward its $68.2 million goal.
University leaders also say the gift is significant because the donor, a former trustee and counselor to the college during some of its most difficult years, saw the recent progress and was moved to support its continued growth. “We think it’s important to understand that this person, who didn’t experience the university in the same way that our students and graduates do, feels compelled to endorse Marian University’s educational approach,” Elsener continued. “Clearly our Franciscan values and commitment to a liberal arts education are valued by others, and needed by our world.” Elsener noted that the leadership provided by the Board of Trustees, and the knowledgeable and talented faculty and staff were instrumental in making this gift possible.
The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent the gift to honor the institution’s official transformation to Marian University on June 27. How the university will use the gift will be determined in the coming weeks, and an announcement will be made at a later date.