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St. Thomas Reaches $500 Million Fundraising Goal

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – University of St. Thomas officials announced Wednesday they’ve raised more than $500 million in donations through their “Opening Doors” campaign.

University President Dennis Dease revealed the news to a dinner audience Wednesday night in the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex, a $50-plus million project done itself solely on private donations.

Officials said the campaign project was approved in October 2007, right before the onset of the recession, with the goal of reaching half a billion dollars. Dease said more than $515 million has been raised by donations from more than 43,000 donors.

Officials said $150 million was given from three donors, two who chose to remain anonymous, and from two large challenge grants. An anonymous donor made one challenge grant in 2010 for $25 million, and St. Thomas trustees made a second challenge grant for $20 million earlier this year.

Gallery: Anderson Athletics Complex

Those grants were each matched for a $90 million total, pushing the “Opening Doors” campaign over $500 million. Opening Doors was launched with news of a $60 million gift from St. Thomas trustee Lee Anderson and his wife, Penny. The gift helped underwrite three major construction projects on the St. Paul campus: The 2012 Anderson Student Center, the 2010 Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex and the 2009 Anderson Parking Facility.

Officials said the campaign helped raise more than $142 million for financial aid, of which more than $106 million will go for undergraduates.

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