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photo of Founders Hall

Giving Leads to Growth

Every gift – no matter the size – propelled Widener well past the finish line in its single most ambitious and successful fundraising effort in university history.

Taking the Lead—The Campaign for Widener has totaled more than $63 million since 2011, surpassing its original goal by $5 million. The funds have aided in the construction of new facilities and have helped put innovative programs into action that address the university goals in academic excellence, civic engagement, global awareness, and leadership. More than $10 million has been earmarked for student scholarships.

“The campaign has tripled Widener’s endowment to more than $90 million despite a period where our national economy weathered some stormy seas,” said President James T. Harris III.

“This success has enabled the university to double financial aid awards to students, attracting Widener’s largest and most diverse student body in our history.”

Harris added the success of the campaign could not have happened without the support of Widener alumni, students, faculty, and other university partners. More than 15,000 people donated to the campaign and more than half were first time donors.

“You are all to be congratulated heartily on playing your part in making Widener a stronger, more dynamic university,” Harris said.

Some notable capital improvement projects from the campaign include the construction of two new academic buildings named Founders Hall and Freedom Hall.

Founders Hall is home to the School of Nursing and the Oskin Leadership Institute, which was made possible by a generous gift from David Oskin, the former chair of Widener's Board of Trustees, his wife JoEllen, and their late son, David.

Freedom Hall is a 28,500-square-foot, three-story building and houses the communication studies, computer science and informatics programs. The building provides state-of-the-art features such as a professional TV-studio and a separate space for a cyclorama wall – or green screen.

The university will celebrate the accomplishments of the Taking the Lead Campaign on Saturday, April 11.