Two anonymous gifts total $18 million for St. Lawrence University

Ellis Giacomelli, Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.
·2 min read

Feb. 16—CANTON — With two anonymous donations announced this week, St. Lawrence University is $18 million closer to its $225-million comprehensive campaign goal.

The Campaign for Every Laurentian, initiated in 2015 and launched publicly in 2018, has garnered support from more than 20,000 donors making 65,657 gifts to the liberal arts university, where roughly 2,400 undergraduate students are enrolled.

"In true Laurentian spirit, these two families conferred with each other to make this joint commitment with the greatest possible impact, as a signal of how much they believe in St. Lawrence's future," President William L. Fox said in a statement Tuesday. "They entered into what they called 'a benign conspiracy' to make not only an important statement about creative philanthropy, but to make a difference with so much positive momentum surrounding St. Lawrence."

The planned estate gifts, according to the university, were pledged by members of the university's Board of Trustees and have elevated the campaign's running total to $213 million, about 95% of the goal.

The two gifts are among the 10 largest financial contributions made to the university in its 165-year history.

The campaign, which is set to end June 30, is driven by four funding areas: Endowing Our Future, Learning for the 21st Century, the Power of Connections and Campus Stewardship.

Over the last six years, endowment gifts have totaled $69.5 million, and nearly $13 million has been donated to Learning for the 21st Century efforts, including support for the Center for Student Achievement, global study experiences and public health.

The Power of Connections has amassed more than $8.1 million, with $3 million of that figure supporting new programs in the Center for Career Excellence. Campus Stewardship targets infrastructure improvements and new construction, with $31.1 million raised for the Richard F. Brush '52 Quad, Herring Cole and Appleton Arena.

Other donations — more than $43.5 million — have directly bolstered the St. Lawrence Fund, which is used to finance scholarships and academic initiatives.

Five additional funding targets, what the university calls "emerging priorities," have been identified as the campaign has progressed. Health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, student scholarships, career programming and the St. Lawrence Fund are listed as emerging priorities.

More information about the campaign is viewable at