University Advancement at Seton Hall has raised $21.6 million, pushing it past its 2016 goal of $20 million.
The support comes from Seton Hall alumni, corporations, private foundations, parents and friends, according to David Bohan, vice president for University Advancement. Gifts range from $25 to $5 million.
“The gifts support many initiatives on campus, including student support, school/college academic support, faculty chairs (professorships), and campus infrastructure projects,” Bohan said in an email interview.
More than 50 percent of gifts last year went toward supporting undergraduate students.
Angelo Piro, a senior international relations and economics major, started a petition last year entitled ‘Seton Hall: Invest in Students not Sports,’ in an attempt to have the University put the money toward something other than athletics. As reported in The Setonian last April, Piro said that more attention was consistently being diverted to the athletic programs than to the larger student body.
“We want to make our donors feel good about their gifts and the impact their gifts will have on campus,” Bohan said when asked about the petition.
“We work with potential donors to bring their attention to key university priorities as outlined in the university’s strategic plan. Their giving decisions are almost always very personal, reflecting key interests and areas of need that strike a particular chord with them,” Bohan said when asked if anything came out of last year’s petition.
Bohan said that University Advancement was fortunate that the most significant gifts aligned with identified university needs such as student support (including athletics), academic and faculty support, and campus construction projects.
Courtney Burd, a junior psychology major, said the money should be contributed to scholarships and advancing the dorms.
“This school is very expensive, and while Seton Hall does provide a lot of scholarship opportunities, they can do more to help students with this donation,” Burd said.
“The dorms are kind of run down in certain aspects, especially the South side of Boland Hall,” Burd added. “The donation should be used to better the campus, starting with the residence halls.”
The communal side of Boland has “small rooms, outdated floors, and all of the furniture is stuck to the walls. In all of the dorms some of the staircases could be redone and the rooms repainted. The lounges in every building (except Aquinas) aren’t super exciting,” Burd said.
Sean Ty, a sophomore business accounting major and psychology minor agreed with Burd about renovating old buildings.
“A bigger bookstore where it looks more appealing, also more common areas in the library to help with the accommodation of more freshman would be beneficial,” Ty said.
Alexandra Gale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.