Mount launches capital campaign to update Dominican Center

October 01, 2012

Newburgh, NY -

Dominican Center at Night

“A Call to Excellence: The Campaign for the Dominican Center” began its public phase on Saturday night, with a goal of $10 million toward extensive transformation of the five story building and property at Mount Saint Mary College.

Mount Saint Mary College, an institution with roots in the City of Newburgh since 1883, announced a new, ambitious capital campaign and revealed that it’s almost two-thirds of the way toward its goal.

The college kicked off the public phase of “A Call to Excellence: The Campaign for the Dominican Center” on September 29. More than 500 members of the Mount’s community of trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, students, and other invitees attended the event.

The goal is to raise $10 million to aid in the transformation of the 100,000-square-foot building, which will boast a 21st century library/learning commons with state-of-the-art technologies and resources, modernized residential spaces for students, and a dining facility with enhanced menu options. Plans also call for additional parking.

College president Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, said the Dominican Center will enrich students in “habits of heart and skills of mind.”

“It is time for Mount Saint Mary College to take another step forward,” said Fr. Mackin. “Our work is a strategic investment in the future of this community, region and country…I am truly grateful for your generosity and participation in ‘A Call to Excellence,’ the campaign to transform the Dominican Center into a cathedral of learning.”

Campaign co-chairs Sr. Ann Sakac, OP, president emerita of the college, and James P. Smith, Jr., president of Advance Testing Company, Inc., introduced “A Call to Excellence” to the public. James W. Taylor, Jr., CEO of Taylor Biomass Energy, LLC., also chairs the campaign. Nicholas and Susan Valentine were acknowledged for the efforts of the Greater Newburgh Business Campaign Committee.

“For those of us who have a lifelong commitment to the mission of Mount Saint Mary College,” explained Sr. Sakac, “the Dominican Center is more than a building and it is more than a piece of property. It is a symbol of the community that created and sustains the mission – the educational mission – of the Mount.”

As a businessman, Smith added, “I’ve often been told that a job well begun is half done. Our good friends have taken us well beyond the halfway mark. I know that we have even more good friends in this amazing community who will take us well beyond our $10 million goal.”

“Let’s make this happen,” he said with confidence.

Dominican Center Cake Cutting

Cake Cutting | Opening “A Call to Excellence: The Campaign for the Dominican Center” by are (left to right): Sr. Ann Sakac, OP, president emerita of the college and campaign co-chair; major donor William Kaplan; college president Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM; James P. Smith, Jr., president of Advance Testing Company, Inc. and co-chair of the campaign; and Dr. Albert J. Gruner, chairman of the Mount Saint Mary College Board of Trustees.

In its quiet phase for 14 months, the campaign raised more than $6.4 million, including a $2.5 million donation from William Kaplan and his Kaplan Family Foundations. Further leadership gifts came from the Dyson Foundation, the Dominican Sisters of Hope, the Mount Saint Mary College Board of Trustees, alumni, and other close friends of the Mount.

Campus community campaign co-chairs Barbara Petruzzelli and Lawrence Force have encouraged early support.

The Dominican Center, including the five story building and 13.1 acres of land, was purchased from the Dominican Sisters on July 13, 2011. Since then, the college has obtained a building permit for the extensive transformation. Highland Associates provided architecture and engineering design. Kirchhoff-Consigli Construction Management will manage the project.

The building was first constructed in 1927. The Chapel of the Holy Rosary, which was featured on the local historical society’s Candlelight Tour, was added and dedicated in 1928. The chapel will be preserved and will serve as the college’s main house of worship and gathering place for special celebrations.