Cedarville University gets anonymous $8 million donation for facilities

Credit: Scott Huck

Credit: Scott Huck

School has raised $114.5 million of $125 million goal, opened two multimillion-dollar facilities this month

Cedarville University announced it has received an anonymous $8 million donation toward improving facilities, bringing the university within $11 million of its larger fundraising goal.

The $8 million gift toward Cedarville’s $125 million fundraising campaign, “One Thousand Days Transformed,” is the third-largest donation in the university’s history. The donation moves the campaign total to $114.5 million, according to the school.

The largest private gifts to Cedarville University are an anonymous $12 million donation in the fall of 2020 and the $10 million contribution from the Scharnberg family to help build the $38 million Lorne C. Scharnberg Business Center.

This month, Cedarville opened two of the largest infrastructure projects that are part of the One Thousand Days campaign. One is an $8 million expansion to its Callan Athletic Center, adding new athletic facilities, as well as new classrooms, labs, and administrative centers. The other is the $7.5 million Duane Wood Residence Hall, which will house 108-120 women.

Two other facilities were built in 2020, a $7 million dining hall and community space, and the $3 million Civil Engineering Center.

Two projects remain on the docket: The first is the 65,000-square-foot Scharnberg Business Center, which will house the university’s school of business, the communications department, and the Center for the Advancement of Cybersecurity, according to university officials. The second is another classroom building on the east side of campus near State Route 72 that is still in the planning stages, said Will Smallwood, vice president for advancement at Cedarville University.

Cedarville will break ground on the Scharnberg Center during the university’s homecoming ceremonies, Sept. 30.

Estimated costs to build the Scharnberg Center have jumped by roughly $6-8 million due to inflation and increased labor costs, Smallwood said, and the difference would be made up by “undesignated” donations towards the campaign.

“Generous donors have made gifts to the campaign, but left the decision on how they impact the university to us,” he said. “If someone makes a designation, then we place those resources towards that designation. That’s a contract we have with our donors.”

The $8 million was one such undesignated gift, and it will be put towards facilities, Smallwood said.

ExploreCedarville celebrates record number of graduates

Of the fundraiser’s $125 million goal, $92.5 million is dedicated to improving university facilities. To date, $74.6 million has been committed to that portion of the campaign, according to the university.

To date, $20.54 million has been committed to scholarships and reducing student debt, $8.49 million has been dedicated to programs to enhance student life, and $9.36 million has been contributed to growing the university’s endowment funds, the university said.

The university is also building a $10 million men’s residence hall that is not part of the fundraising push, to open in the fall of 2023. Danis Construction has handled all of the university’s building projects to date.

“The campaign has experienced unprecedented success, for which I am grateful to the Lord for His blessings,” said Cedarville University President Thomas White. “This anonymous gift — and the thousands of other gifts — will be used to continue helping Cedarville University transform the lives of students through an education marked by biblical excellence.”

About the Author