St. Edward's Launches $65 Million Comprehensive Campaign

November 24, 2004


John Brooks Williams Natural Science Center


Nearly 120 years since welcoming its first class of eight students, St. Edward's is once again preparing for the future. The university has launched a $65 million comprehensive capital campaign. A Special Destiny: The Campaign for St. Edward's University has already raised nearly $47 million in support of two equally ambitious goals: giving more students the opportunity to experience the transformative education St. Edward's provides and achieving national recognition as one of America's best small universities. The campaign focuses on the construction of the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center and a new campus chapel as a visible expression of the university's commitment to its Holy Cross heritage. Campaign funds also will add to the university's $45 million endowment and improve existing operations.

The John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center won't open for classes until Fall 2006.

"Our present challenge is the same one our founders faced in 1872 - to be bold and visionary enough to build for the future," said university President George E. Martin. "Because of the faith and dedication of the entire St. Edward's community - students, faculty, staff and donors - we are making steady progress toward a promising future. That progress can be witnessed every day on our campus."

Honorary Campaign Chairs Cindy and Gregory Kozmetsky - Greg also is a long-time member of the Board of Trustees - know firsthand the power of giving to St. Edward's. "As students ourselves and parents of a St. Edward's alumnus, Greg and I both believe deeply in the personal, values-based education that we received at St. Edward's - one that today's students still experience," said Cindy Kozmetsky, who graduated from New College in 1995. "Our family has a tradition of giving to St. Edward's, and we are honored to be a part of helping the university realize its special destiny."

The campaign is led by a $10.5 million combined gift from the estate of Houston businessman John Brooks Williams. The first gift of $7.5 million - the largest single gift in the university's history - will fund the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center. St. Edward's also is completing a $2 million challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation to fund the $20 million natural sciences center named in memory of Williams. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year on the center that will eventually provide 66,000 square feet for classrooms, laboratories and faculty offices for biology, chemistry and general science education. The Williams estate has committed an additional $3 million toward construction of the second phase, which will be initiated following the completion of phase one and eventually will house computer science, mathematics and physics programs. Overall, the new facilities will more than quadruple available space for science education at St. Edwards.

Since 1999, St. Edward's has invested more than $70 million in capital improvements - award-winning Trustee Hall opened for classes in November 2002, Basil Moreau Hall became home to185 students in Spring 2003, and the university broke ground for another residence hall in August that will serve an additional 200 students - all while maintaining a balanced budget and increasing the endowment by $12 million. And earlier this fall, U.S. News & World Report recognized St. Edward's among the top 25 master's-granting institutions in the Western region. In addition, students ranked St. Edward's above the national average in all categories of the National Survey of Student Engagement, which measures student satisfaction. The Princeton Review and Campus Compact also recently designated St. Edward's one of only 81 schools included in the new guide Colleges with a Conscience .

Founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross, St. Edward's University is a private, Catholic, liberal arts university of approximately 4,650 students located in Austin, Texas.