BISMARCK, ND - More programs, more partnerships, more academic and athletic success and more students mean more growth ahead for the University of Mary in Bismarck. In order to create and develop the space needed and provide students with a comprehensive liberal arts experience and environment, on Friday, Sept. 14, Father James Shea, president, announced the public phase of a $40-million campaign for growth at Mary - the university's largest ever.
This year, Mary has approximately 850 students living on campus - that's about 100 more students than the previous record set two years ago.
"We can no longer hold back on our need to expand our main campus," stated Father Shea at a morning press conference on campus. "On a local level, it's no coincidence, as our vibrant communities of Bismarck and Mandan and surrounding areas continue to grow, so do we. The welcome influx of people and businesses has increased demand for our new and established programs and our graduates. This truly is the beginning of what will transform the look of the University of Mary campus."
This fundraising campaign includes plans for more on-campus housing, increasing the university's endowment, renovation and enhancements to athletic facilities, expansion of Mary's premier health care programs and a new student campus center, to be located between the McDowell Activity Center and the Leach Field House, in what is the current walking area.
Other factors contributing to Mary's growth are recent academic initiatives and increased visibility at the regional and national level, such as: the international learning experience with Mary's very successful new campus in Rome; an unprecedented partnership with Arizona State University (ASU) that brought Catholic studies and theological studies programs to the largest public university in the nation; junior college joint ventures with Bismarck State College (BSC) and Alexandria Technical Community College (ATCC) that facilitate students transitioning to complete their four-year degree from Mary; a marketing campaign that targets Catholic families across the nation; and the school's emergence as an NCAA Division II power.
"We owe a great deal of gratitude for our success and development to many people, including our faculty and staff, as well as our friends and supporters in the Bismarck and Mandan communities," added Father Shea. "But most specifically, a heartfelt thank you to our founders, the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. Not only did they pioneer the only hospital here between Seattle and Minneapolis over 130 years ago, but through their providential spirit, they also saw the need for this university and the significant role it would play in the region and beyond. A place that continues to grow today."
University of Mary Expansion
• Student Campus Center - This place, connecting the McDowell Activity Center (MAC) and the Leach Field House, will be a hub for gathering and interaction, for students who live on campus and those who don't. Spaces will be flexible and adaptable for various uses and students can always be connected - with their computers, phones, faculty and friends.
- The bookstore (currently located in the lower level of the Harold J. Miller Center) will be more accessible by relocating to the Student Campus Center.
- Marauder Cove coffee shop (currently located in the lower level of the Harold J. Miller Center) will move to ground level in the Student Campus Center, providing easier access to students and guests.
- The Marauders Hall of Fame (currently in the joining tunnel between the Leach Field House and MAC) will gain greater prominence through a dedicated space to display recipients' photos and other athletic accolades in the MAC.
- Space for athletics will be enhanced, including updated locker rooms and spectator seating.
- These changes also create an opportunity to reconfigure existing spaces and improve facilities for the region's premier School of Health Sciences, to include enhanced clinical training facilities for Physical Therapy.
- This will also free up additional space in the Richard A. Tschider Center for the Athletics Department to use as offices, locker rooms, updated concessions area and training spaces for all Marauders teams.
- The Center will provide a commons area for student organizations ranging from Student Government to the student newspaper (Summit).
• New Women's Residence Hall - This space will be geared toward female freshman students. The three-story structure will house over 100 women primarily in double rooms.