The momentum is building: Supporting a bold vision

Oct 05, 2012

Within blocks of where the U.S. Constitution was debated and signed, Delaware Valley College kicked off its campaign to fund another bold vision, which will also have a lasting impact.

Supporters of the College’s mission and its move toward university status are putting their money where there mouths are, more than $40 million has come in in the past two years to support the vision for the future of the institution.

President Brosnan speaking at the National Constitution Center.

Above: President Brosnan speaking at the National Constitution Center.

Celebrating the public kickoff of the largest fundraising effort in its history Thursday, Oct. 4, DelVal announced that its “Realizing the Vision” capital campaign will take on the bold goal of raising a minimum of $50 million.

“The future of Delaware Valley College is in your hands,” said College President Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan during the campaign kickoff celebration. “When you leave here tonight, I expect it to be even deeper and stronger in your hearts.”

The quiet phase has been going on for two years and has raised $40,259,000 so far. In addition to that amount, two days before the kickoff, two donors made $1 million commitments, bringing the total to $42,259,000.

One came from Dr. Jim Diamond, a DelVal alumnus and a retired dean, and his wife Betty. The couple made a $1 million estate commitment to endowed scholarships. After DelVal, Dr. Diamond went on to be an international consultant for agriculture for the United Nations. He feels so strongly about providing support for students because scholarship support allowed him to come to DelVal, and prepared him for a career beyond his wildest expectations.

College Trustee Robert Lipinski, also an alumnus, made a $1 million commitment to athletic facility renovations. The renovations will benefit student athletes like Alexis Maylor, the young woman who introduced him.

“Students today who face a troublesome economy can learn from this job creator,” said Maylor of the entrepreneur. “To understand what Mr. Lipinski is all about, you only have to look at the list of companies he either started or developed.”

Held at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, the program featured everything from students’ personal stories of how DelVal changed their lives, to a video on the College and how far it has come, to a speech by a descendent of its founder.

Above: Alumni, friends, staff, and faculty of DelVal gathered to celebrate past success and kickoff a bold campaign for the College's future.

“Realizing the Vision” will focus on supporting the College’s strategic plan. It will help fund scholarships, endowed deanships and professorships, the construction of the Life Sciences Building, the creation of new academic programs including a doctoral program in education, student engagement and inclusion opportunities, and more.

The campaign will help transform DelVal into a small, teaching university, which will prepare students with the knowledge and experience to tackle the world’s most important issues.

To guide the “Realizing the Vision” campaign the College named Trustee Michael Moss as campaign chair. Moss helped to found Team Capital Bank and currently serves on its Board of Directors. He was drawn to the College because of the changes happening under Dr. Brosnan’s leadership and has become a very vocal supporter of the vision for its future.

The $31 million transformational gift from The Warwick Foundation in 2010, gave the vision life and really started the excitement that has been building around the institution.

Since that gift, the College has made significant progress toward university status. DelVal has restructured into four schools, including a graduate school, the college has two new master’s programs in place, bringing its total graduate programs to five, and a doctoral program is on the way. DelVal also just broke ground on its new 38,000-square-foot Life Sciences Building on Sept. 28.

“We are thriving amid challenges,” said Dr. Brosnan.

Those are the positive changes on campus that are visible or easy to describe, but the campaign and the vision for the College, have brought other changes, which are harder to quantify. There’s increased pride, excitement, and a shared sense that the institution is going somewhere. That together, the people supporting it are building something that will have a lasting impact.

“Dr. Brosnan has created a culture here unlike anything I have ever known,” said Zachary Gihorski, Class of 2013, at the event. “He has made big promises, and he has delivered big results. At other schools I would be a statistic. Here, I am a voice of the new vision I so much believe in.”

That vision includes preparing students to tackle critical issues.

“DelVal’s mission is unique and relevant in today’s world because it enables us to provide our students with the knowledge and experience to tackle the most important issues of our time,” said Dr. Brosnan.

"DelVal is important to the future of this country and the world because it is addressing critical issues such as: how to feed a world population exceeding 7 billion and growing, how to secure adequate supplies of water for drinking and irrigation, how to keep the air clean, and how to secure new sources of energy. DelVal is addressing these issues as part of the College’s core curriculum. This is not some fad that will be gone tomorrow.”