Forever is upon us

Daniel Pavilion. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau Trustee Carole Ann Carter Daniel, WC ’68, provided the funds for the construction of Daniel Pavilion on the front lawn of Brenau University’s Gainesville historic campus to commemorate the university’s future direction guided by its strategic vision to become an internationally recognized leader in innovative higher education. Daniel’s gift was among the earliest to Brenau’s $40 million ForeverGold campaign. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau nears $40 million goal

At every commencement, I peer out into the audience and remark something akin to, “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know where you sit, but I do know someone is sitting here today who is going to change the world, and I wonder who that person will be.” I also take great satisfaction in knowing that whoever that person is, he or she in all likelihood received financial support through the generosity of many.

Support for each student is at the heart of our ForeverGold campaign. I am justifiably proud of how, together, we are on the cusp of realizing our $40 million campaign goal. In doing so, we are securing the future of Brenau for another generation. We are strengthening the foundation to allow our students to pursue, as H.J. Pearce noted in the Brenau Ideal, “the limitless reaches of the human endeavor.”

You may ask, “What exactly have we accomplished together?” Here is a summary:

  • Health Care and Science Initiative: $13 million
  • Women’s Education Support: $2.85 million
  • Student Access and Experience Initiative: $14.72 million
  • Additional Gifts for General Support: $6.38 million
  • This combined generosity places us near our goal with $36.95 million pledged and received.

In tangible, meaningful ways, what do the numbers mean? We have raised significant scholarship support. We have created new facilities for our physical therapy program that are second to none. We have enhanced and economically strengthened the Gainesville city square through the location of the Downtown Center, as it has become a catalyst for continued office, housing, small business and restaurant growth. We have established a campus in Jacksonville, Florida. We have built a new student dorm and sorority houses. We have expanded learning resources for our nursing program. We have greatly enhanced international studies, strengthened opportunities for leadership, expanded our support for the visual and performing arts and completed Phase I of Ernest Ledford Grindle Athletics Park.

You have to look for it. The words are not easily noticed, but on the outside of the Pearce Building are words that mean much to me. The stone simply reads, “Planted 1905.” Brenau was not even 30 years old when this declaration was etched. Yet some people were confident enough in Brenau’s future that they gave of what they had in hopes of something larger than themselves in a future they could sense, even if they could not fully see it. Their legacy now calls us. Planted 2017. Scholarships that started small now are endowed and will forever support students.
Buildings constructed long ago and not so long ago now will forever serve many. Estate gifts given by Brenau faithful will collectively forever help sustain our mission.

Out of concern of committing what they used to call in my childhood church in rural Mississippi “the sin of omission,” I won’t list the generosity of so many who have made so much good happen. We will do that at a later date. However, I will note that there is still time to have your name etched in the proverbial cornerstone that sustains Brenau’s continued growth. On the eve of our great accomplishment, I say thank you to those who have supported our campaign. I invite others who have yet to join our mighty endeavor to give. We appreciate your generosity. We equally appreciate counting you among this effort, regardless of the gift size.

To all, I close by saying Forever is upon us. Brenau’s good spirit continues to beckon. I invite you to read this newsletter to discover what opportunities we still must address. I invite you to join our good cause in pursuit of ForeverGold.

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