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Now for Tomorrow Campaign soars beyond expectations

Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Science Center

By Marianne T. Puhalla

Skeptics said it could not be done in a slowly recovering economy. Yet, in a visionary move, the Board of Trustees at Misericordia University put their faith in the métier of the University’s mission, the expertise of their leadership team, and the interminable attitude of their strongest supporters. Setting an unprecedented goal of $30 million, the Board formally launched Now for Tomorrow: The Campaign for Misericordia University in 2016.

Proof positive of their success is that the new three-story, 57,400-square-foot wing of the Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Science Center on the eastern edge of campus opened to students on October 5, 2020. Contractors are now working on an extensive renovation of the 28,500-square-foot original science center – the second part of the two-fold project – which is expected to open in the spring of 2021, further expanding collaborative learning and research opportunities for students and faculty. When completed, the Henry Science Center will be the largest academic building on campus and will increase space for scientific learning by 200 percent.

The Now for Tomorrow campaign has raised more than $37 million as of October 2020 – nearly double any previous single fundraising project in Misericordia’s history, and looks to raise an additional $1.5 million by the campaign’s end in June 2021. The philanthropy has allowed the University to design a state-of-the-art facility that will better serve all students, particularly those in the natural sciences and health sciences, for years to come.

The three-prong missive of the Now for Tomorrow Campaign goes beyond constructing a new $45 million science center. More than one-third of the funds raised are designated to increase endowment scholarship funding so to help attract and retain more students and lower their debt upon graduation.

“Now, more than ever, in light of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, students and their families are faced with challenges they never anticipated as they look to finance higher education,” says Susan Helwig, vice president of University Advancement. “Students are our mission and our strength. Scholarship funding is crucial to helping prospective students attend and current students return to Misericordia. This continues to be one of our most important needs and fundraising initiatives.”

The third priority of the campaign effort is directed at supporting the Misericordia Annual Fund. The University is working to enhance the fund, which provides the administration with the financial resources that are required to move quickly on opportunities to serve students. Never has an emergency fund been so needed, as the University navigates 2020’s challenging circumstances.

“As we look ahead, our administrators are conscientiously taking the steps needed to reduce risk and sustain our ability to educate the emerging healthcare providers, essential employees, and front-line heroes of the future. We are in a position to do so because of the critical contributions of our most loyal donors who support the Annual Fund every year. We hope to raise an additional $1.5 million before the campaign wraps up in June 2021,” Helwig says emphatically.

“The University is forever indebted to the exceptional philanthropy of the late Frank M. Henry, his family, Now for Tomorrow Campaign co-chairs Sandy Insalaco, Sr., and Mary Erwine ’90, ‘92, and the myriad of alumni, faculty, staff, parents, friends, government, foundations and corporate partners who recognized the future of Misericordia lies in the hands of technology-savvy, collaborative learning,” she adds. “This has been a team effort of enormous proportions, and I could not be prouder of the work we have accomplished.”

Mr. Henry, longtime chairman of the Martz Group motor coach company, was the first major benefactor to commit his support to the Now for Tomorrow Campaign. His commitment lighted the way for others in the community to follow suit. Naming the science center in his honor and that of his wife, Dorothea, acknowledges the importance and impact of the family’s dedication to Misericordia. Dorothea served on the Board of Trustees from 1980 until 1986. The Frank and Dorothea Henry Student Lounge, a study and recreational space for students, also bears the couple’s name.

To access an easy-to-use online giving form, please click here. For additional information, please contact Sue Helwig at shelwig@misericordia.edu or 570-674-6368.