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Make History Comprehensive Fundraising Effort Exceeds Goal, Raising $153 Million - 10/29/2012

At Marian University's 75th Anniversary Gala on Friday, October 19, it was announced that Make History, the comprehensive fundraising effort that Marian University began in 2002, has raised $153 million! The initial goal for Make History was $68.2 million. Marian University's previous fundraising effort had raised $8 million.

At the gala, President Daniel J. Elsener praised and thanked all supporters for their efforts over the last 10 years to build a great Catholic university in a great American city.

The announcement to the crowd of nearly 2,000 guests comprised of alumni, business, community, and religious leaders was made by Joann Derbiszewski, president of the Student Government of Marian University.

Following the announcement, President Elsener outlined how Marian University is committed to improving health care, preparing leaders for K-12 education, and preparing lay leaders for the Church. He also addressed Indianapolis' need to increase college attainment rates from 30 to 40 percent in the decades to come. He called Make History a great down payment on what needs to be raised to truly build a great Catholic university in a great American city.

Make History Initiatives (Total: $153,062,865)

  • Health and Life Sciences: $85,164,643
  • Investing in Students, Academics, and Campus Life: $57,476,647
  • "Rebuild My Church": $10,421,575

Make History Leadership

  • John and Sarah Lechleiter, chairs, Central Indiana and Corporate
  • John '63 and Phyllis Cardis, chairs, Comprehensive Effort
  • Jerry and Rosemary Semler, chairs, Health and Life Sciences
  • D. Anthony "Tony" Watt '69 and Carole Kunkel Watt '65, chairs, Investing in Students, Academics, and Campus Life
  • Dan Hoyt, chair, "Rebuild My Church"
  • Michael Browning, vice chair
  • Vince Caponi, vice chair
  • Len '68 and Sue Smith Strom '68, vice chairs
  • Chuck '68 and Mary Leahy Welch '68, vice chairs
  • Raul Zavaleta, vice chair

Make History Statistics

Private phase of Make History began in July 2002. The public phase was launched in October 2007.

Marian College changed its name to Marian University in July 2009.

Over 10 years, the board of trustees and campaign leadership contributed $80.7 million to Make History.

In July 2002, university had a $4 million endowment. In October 2012, the endowment had grown to nearly $45 million. The university needs a $250 million endowment to fund future needs.

In July 2002, the university had 47 endowed scholarships. In October 2012, there are 180 endowed scholarships.

In July 2002, the university had 4,358 alumni donors. In October 2012, there are 5,887 alumni donors.

In July 2002, the university had 7,494 donors. In October 2012 the university has 13,562 donors in total.

In July 2002, the university had 2 gifts/pledges for $1 million. In October 2012, the university had 18 gift/pledges for $1 million or more. Of the 18 gifts/pledges, 6 are for $5 million or more.

In July 2002, the university had 535 corporate/foundation donors. In October 2012, the university had 1,657 donors in this category.

Selected Make History Projects

  • Endowed scholarships
  • St.Vincent Health Field
  • Blessed Mother Mary Shrine and Rosary Walk
  • Steffen Music Center
  • New fitness center
  • Nina Mason Pulliam Ecolab and Nature Center
  • Paul J. Norman Cycling Center
  • The Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership
  • Clark H. Byrum School of Business
  • Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences
  • New residence halls (2)

Other local university campaigns and results:

  • Butler University (Butler Rising): $154 million
  • Marian University (Make History): $153 million
  • University of Evansville (U-Envision): $80 million
  • University of Indianapolis (Campaign for UIndy): $73.5 million
  • St. Joseph's College (21st Century Capital Campaign): $13.2 million

The Make History comprehensive fundraising campaign will formally end on December 31, 2012. However, the needs on campus have grown and expanded to $210 million. The university will continue its fundraising efforts until those needs are met. For additional information on how to help, contact John Finke, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, at or 317.955.6202.