More than $59 million raised by record-setting campaign

Apr 15, 2016

Brosnan in front of a screen with the word vision

Credit: Dan Z. Johnson. Delaware Valley University President Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan at the campaign closing event. 

Delaware Valley University is proud to announce that it has raised more than $59 million through the largest capital campaign in its 120-year history. The campaign, which closed on Thursday, April 14, has brought in $59,105,659, including more than $629,000 for a new institute for student leaders to be named in honor of DelVal President Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan. The funding has helped DelVal expand academic offerings, increase scholarship support and provide new facilities and tools for students and faculty.

The “Realizing the Vision” campaign began in July 2010 and launched publicly in October 2012. The campaign funded projects such as:

  • The achievement of university status
  • The $15 million Life Sciences Building, which added lab and classroom space and a 450-seat auditorium to campus
  • The Littlefield Institute for Biotechnology and Hydroponics
  • The multi-sport Robert A. Lipinski artificial turf field
  • The Mandell Science Building laboratory renovations
  • A state-of-the-art counseling psychology lab
  • An Emergency Financial Aid Fund program
  • New academic programs including: the University’s first doctoral program, a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and a Master of Arts in Policy Studies
  • The Janet Manion Military and Veterans Center, which was created in partnership with the Travis Manion Foundation

“The campaign was an investment in the enduring attributes of DelVal that attracted me to this place—a hands-on, personalized educational experience, commitment to providing students with access to a DelVal education, and a team of faculty and staff committed to the success of each and every student,” said Dr. Brosnan.

At the campaign-closing gala on Thursday, April 14, students unveiled a banner for the new Joseph S. Brosnan Institute for Student Leadership and Success. Dr. Brosnan is retiring this summer after nine years with DelVal and the new institute will celebrate his legacy.

The Brosnan Institute will provide an intensive, week-long leadership training workshop for about 60 students each year and a graduate assistant to coordinate additional campus-wide leadership development opportunities. The Institute will also provide new Student Success Scholarships for high–achieving students who need additional financial support. Second year students, who are often the most vulnerable population in terms of persistence to graduation, will be given priority for the scholarships. The Institute will also provide additional funding for faculty professional development, enriching the experience of the educators who teach and mentor DelVal’s students.

“The students are what this place is all about,” said Dr. Brosnan after the surprise announcement about the Institute. “I’m flabbergasted; this is quite a surprise. I came here because of the people, and I just want to say, you’ve made a difference in my life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart with all humility. Thank you very much.”

Senator Chuck McIlhinney, Jr., was a special guest for the event.  Lead donors for the Brosnan Institute in attendance were: Trustee Helen Nelson, Tom Watson '57 (founder of the Watson Executive-in-Residence program), and Jeff Umosella (a major Brosnan Institute donor who gave in memory of his father, Joe Umosella '63).

“The campaign was led by the visionary and inspirational leadership of our president,” said Nelson. “It exceeded its goal ($50 million) by almost 20 percent. I salute all members of the DelVal community who helped the University exceed such an ambitious target.”

Approximately 7,000 people gave, including 2,056 alumni. From that group, 3,066 were first-time donors. Betsy Gemmill provided the largest single donation the University has ever received as part of the campaign.

“Each and every gift, and each and every call made by a volunteer, has played a role in making this enduring institution a vital one,” said Dr. Brosnan. “The campaign began in the wake of the Great Recession. True to the DelVal spirit, the collective energy of our passionate donors and team ensured our success. This is a time to celebrate the many ways DelVal has been enhanced by our generous donors.”