Southern Virginia University Launches $50 Million Capital Campaign

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Southern Virginia University is nearly halfway toward the $50-million goal for its first-ever capital campaign, which was publicly launched last week at two gala events in Utah.

Dr. Richard G. Whitehead, vice president of institutional advancement at Southern Virginia, announced several new donations and pledges at the galas held at Thanksgiving Point and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The announcement included general campaign pledges of $1.6 million, a $500,000 donation toward a new residence hall, a $200,000 donation toward the construction of new tennis courts, and two new professorships — the Gayle T. Smith Theatre Professorship and the Gayle T. Smith Physics Professorship.

“We are thrilled to be this far along in our campaign and very grateful for the generosity of donors who have made the launch of this campaign so successful,” said Paul K. Sybrowsky, president of Southern Virginia University. “We look forward to sharing our vision and plans with many more friends of the university. With their help we will directly bless the lives of the students who greatly benefit from the genius of small and its role in helping them cultivate scholarship and discipleship.”

The theme of the capital campaign is “advancing the genius of small.” University administrators expect the campaign to run for three to five years and to reach or exceed its $50 million goal.

During the very successful silent phase of the campaign, Southern Virginia already has raised $20 million toward its goal. These funds have provided the resources to build student housing — The Lofts — and The Fields, renovate the Kimball Student Center, install heating and air conditioning in Main Hall, and fund scholarships and professorships. Construction of a new softball field also is nearing completion, though more funding is needed to finish the project.

Plans for the campaign include improved facilities — including renovating and remodeling existing campus facilities, and constructing a multi-purpose facility, a fine and performing arts center, new residential units and a stadium — as well as to provide more scholarships and professorships.

Professorships are awarded to faculty members who are outstanding scholars, teachers and citizens, providing them with additional salary.

Bruce L. Olsen, former managing director of public affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Christine P. Olsen, co-hosted the galas.

“The events provided a perfect start for our capital campaign,” said Dr. Richard G. Whitehead, vice president of institutional advancement at Southern Virginia. “We’re thrilled with the support we’ve received to help us reach our goals to provide more scholarships and professorships, and to improve the quality of our facilities.”

Additional campaign galas are planned for other parts of the country, including Southern Virginia University’s hometown — Buena Vista, Va. The Ninth Annual Shenandoah Invitational Art Show on Oct. 25, 2012, in Falls Church, Va., also will have a capital campaign theme this year.

For the latest news on the campaign or to make a donation, visit