Why is the Illuminating Lives campaign taking place?

Saint Ben’s reputation for academic excellence and for providing access to higher education for young women from a variety of backgrounds is earning national recognition. We are achieving outcomes equal to or better than some of the most elite liberal arts colleges in the nation. Yet we are significantly under-resourced compared to those colleges.

Students choosing the College of Saint Benedict are changing. Every bit as bright and accomplished as those who have come before them, increasingly, CSB students come from lower income families or may be the first in their family to attend college. This means that, in order to continue to serve our students well, we must significantly increase the amount of money we are able to award for scholarships and other financial aid.

We want to make the full Saint Ben’s experience viable for all Bennies — regardless of their financial circumstances. This means developing resources to underwrite study abroad opportunities, internships, and student/faculty research.

Growing the college’s endowment to provide perpetual scholarship support for students is the largest component of the campaign. Other priorities include increasing annual fund support to provide current scholarships for students, improving learning by creating 21st century classrooms and learning spaces, and providing new and updated facilities to support athletics.

What is the Illuminating Lives fundraising goal?

The goal for this multi-year campaign, the largest campaign in CSB history, is $100,000,000. Illuminating Lives is changing lives through three key objectives:

Fundraising for Illuminating Lives will be completed by June 30, 2020.

Who will benefit from the campaign?

Now, more than ever, our communities, our country, and our world need women who think critically, lead courageously, and advocate passionately. Today, fearless women come to Saint Ben’s with intelligence, ambition, and passion for changing the world. They leave Saint Ben’s with confidence and imagination grounded in Benedictine values and rooted in the strength of the liberal arts. It is these women — and women yet to come — in whom we are investing. Your Illuminating Lives campaign gift will have a ripple effect: benefitting not only our current students, but also future generations of young women attending Saint Ben’s. When empowered women make the world a better place in their homes, communities, and work places, we all benefit.

How will my campaign gift be used?

An unrestricted gift provides the greatest flexibility for your gift to be used where the need is greatest. If you prefer, there is the option to designate your gift for a specific purpose that is meaningful to you. Naming opportunities — of an endowed fund or of a space in a campus facility — are available for many gifts. Ultimately, all campaign gifts will change lives by providing access, building confidence, and improving learning. CSB development staff are happy to discuss with you the options available so that you can make a gift that brings joy and satisfaction to you and your family.

Do I need to pay 100% of my gift now?

You have flexibility in when and how you fulfill your commitment. You can choose to make an outright gift now or set up a pledge with a payment schedule that works best for you (i.e. monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, or other installments).

What is the best way to make my gift?

There are many options for fulfilling campaign gifts which include cash, stocks/securities, real estate, or through an estate plan, or a combination of these options. Some Illuminating Lives supporters are choosing to make their gift through a family foundation, community foundation, donor-advised fund, private business or private corporation. We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about options for fulfilling your campaign commitment that align with your personal goals and situation.

What is Bennie Conversations: How She Shines and how can I participate?

Bennie Conversations: How She Shines is an initiative launched as part of the Illuminating Lives campaign and designed to capture the individual impacts of our collective light. Through alumna-to-alumna interviews, we hope to celebrate and preserve the moments that define a Bennie. Throughout the campaign, as we compile Bennie Conversations and other sparks of Bennie illumination, we’ll be posting them here. Learn more on how you can participate as a storyteller, story interviewer or as a resource for nominating other Bennies.

Who can I contact to learn more about the campaign?

Please contact Barb Cooney who will connect you with the CSB staff person who can best respond to your questions. She can be reached at bcooney001@csbsju.edu or 320-363-5307.

Thank you to our campaign volunteers.