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Creighton touts second highest fundraising total in its history

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An aspect of Creighton University’s fundraising campaign is raising money for new and renovated campus facilities, including the CL Werner Center for Health Sciences Education, which is under construction.

Creighton cross country athlete Eli Vedral started his own baking business during the pandemic

Creighton University announced Monday that it secured nearly $100 million in fundraising commitments in the previous fiscal year.

The 144-year-old university said it had secured $99,775,175 during fiscal year 2022, which ran from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. The commitments came from more than 15,800 sources including alumni, organizations and faculty. The university said a record $46.3 million from that fundraising total has been designated for scholarships.

The FY 2022 total fell short of the previous year’s $143.6 million, but it was the university’s second highest amount in a single fiscal year.

The donations came as part of the university’s Forward Blue campaign, which was publicly announced last October but has been operating since 2016.

“We have terrific momentum in a campaign that is built on big dreams, great aspirations and a lot of inspiration,” said the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, Creighton’s president.

Coupled with $450 million in previous donations, the university is now within striking distance of its $650 million fundraising goal for Forward Blue.

“The target is a benchmark for us. My hope is to get well beyond that, but we’ll keep seeing how the community responds,” he said.

Hendrickson reiterated that a primary goal of the Forward Blue campaign is to raise money for scholarships, in order to make Creighton more accessible, particularly for students who come from working-class and underrepresented backgrounds.

Hendrickson told The World-Herald last year that Creighton’s annual tuition costs hover around $42,000. The university said it has created 358 scholarships over the course of the campaign. About 41% of those scholarships have been designated by donors for health sciences students.

“Sometimes students need full support. Sometimes they just need a few thousand dollars or $1,500,” Hendrickson said.

Another aspect of the university’s fundraising campaign is raising money for new and renovated campus facilities. Those include the $75 million CL Werner Center for Health Sciences Education, a $37 million first-year residence hall and a $17 million Jesuit Residence — all scheduled to open next year.

Hendrickson said the university’s building projects fit into an overall vision shared by city and business leaders of revitalizing Omaha’s urban core.

“The downtown community is our neighborhood,” he said. “All of the investments couldn’t be more exciting.”

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