October 01, 2012
“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
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
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
College president Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, said the Dominican
Center will enrich students in “habits of heart and skills of
“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
“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
“Let’s make this happen,” he said with confidence.
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.