Forward Ever Forward: The Campaign for Saint John’s raised nearly $190 Million

BannerSaint John’s Abbey and University have announced the conclusion of the largest, most ambitious capital campaign in their history. Forward Ever Forward: The Campaign for Saint John’s, which launched in 2013, exceeded its goal of $160 million by raising $188 million to support the future of Saint John’s.

The campaign theme – Forward Ever Forward – originates from the inspiring words of Archabbot Boniface Wimmer, OSB, founder of the first Benedictine monastery in the United States: “Forward, always forward, everywhere forward.”  

“The generosity displayed by so many people advances Saint John’s pioneering spirit and our mission of renewing the fabric of community, a mission that is even more vital today than when we launched the campaign four years ago,” said Abbot John Klassen, OSB, leader of Saint John’s Abbey, one of the world’s largest Benedictine monasteries.

“The initiatives made possible through the support of our generous donors builds upon Saint John’s tradition of educational excellence for an even greater future,” said Michael Hemesath, president of Saint John’s University. “This Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts education – rooted in community – prepares students for a lifetime of learning, character development, service and leadership that are greatly needed in today’s world.”

Saint John’s is characterized by a long tradition of faith, innovation and excellence that began in 1856 with the establishment of a Benedictine monastery and the founding of Saint John’s University in 1857.

Major initiatives funded by Forward Ever Forward: The Campaign for Saint John’s include:

Student Scholarships

  • Providing a high-quality education to young men from all backgrounds is the highest priority at Saint John’s. Forward Ever Forward substantially increases scholarship and financial-aid endowments to ensure that qualified students from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and geographic locations can attend Saint John’s.
    • This expansion of scholarships includes FIRSTGen scholarships and support services for students striving to become the first college graduates in their families.
    • FIRSTGen builds upon Saint John’s long history of educating young men who in turn make college a tradition for their future families.

Educational Programming

  • Support for expanded programming, endowed chairs and professorships fosters student development at Saint John’s to serve the common good in an intercultural and global community.
  • Support for innovative educational programs, including the Center for Global Education, the McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship and a professorship in Business and the Liberal Arts.
  • Support for the Benedictine Institute to promote a rich, authentic understanding and appreciation of Benedictine life and culture on campus.

Alcuin Library, Dietrich Reinhart Learning Commons, Saint John’s Bible Gallery

  • Alcuin Library’s major renovation provides significant study and collaboration space and technology consistent with changes in how classes are taught and students learn.
  • Named in memory of former Saint John’s University President Br. Dietrich Reinhart, OSB, a new 22,000-square-foot Learning Commons integrates classrooms, study areas, a technology center, coffee shop and outdoor patio.
  • The Saint John’s Bible Gallery provides a new, permanent gallery and home for The Saint John’s Bible to host visitors from around the world.
  • Together these areas create a centralized, expansive campus learning hub fostering collaboration and innovation.

Saint John’s Athletic Facilities

  • Gagliardi Field is a multi-purpose artificial turf field for football, rugby, lacrosse, soccer, baseball and softball. The Skalicky Dome allows for winter use of Gagliardi Field by students and the larger community.
  • Haugen Field at Becker Park is the home of the Saint John’s baseball team, and Jim and Adrienne Smith Court for basketball features a resurfaced court and new bleachers and scoreboard.
  • Haws Field for soccer features a natural grass surface, permanent team dugouts, bleachers and a scoreboard.
  • The Chang Tennis Complex consists of seven United States Tennis Association-approved courts, complete with fencing, bleachers and a storage building.
  • Alpers Golf Learning Center features two simulator bays, a chipping green and putting green for year-round use.
  • Major upgrades to Durenberger Fields, Warner Palaestra, Donald McNeely Spectrum and Clemens Stadium.

The McKeown Center

  • Construction of The McKeown Center – the community center for students living in Flynntown – the lower campus of SJU.
    • The McKeown Center includes a kitchen, dining area, lounge area, study rooms, a computer lab, laundry facilities, outdoor patio and a recreational area.
    • Underscoring Saint John’s commitment to sustainability, The McKeown Center is LEED® Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.

Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML)

  • Support for the preservation of cultural heritage through digitization of manuscripts in politically unstable regions such as Iraq, Syria and southeast Turkey.
  • Support for fellowships for scholar research using HMML’s rare books and manuscript collections.
  • Renovation of HMML’s teaching, learning and research environment, making it a 21st Century global research center.

School of Theology and Seminary

  • Support for scholarship assistance for seminarians and lay graduate students.
  • An endowed chair in Biblical Studies.
  • Building vibrant Christian community and parish life that translates Benedictine practices of community building to life outside the monastery.
  • Youth programs such as Youth in Theology and Ministry, which help students across the country deeply understand and live out their Catholic faith.

Saint John’s Abbey                                                                                                         

  • Support for monastic vocation programs.
  • The Benedictine Volunteer Corps, which offers recent SJU graduates a service experience in a developing country or U.S. inner-city while living in a Benedictine community
  • Renovation of monastic community living spaces and the Abbey healthcare and retirement center.           

Campaign Videos

Support of Benedictine Traditions

Supporting Scholarships

Supporting Academics

Supporting Athletics