Homecoming festivities at Stephen F. Austin State University were especially celebratory tonight when it was announced that $79.59 million has been raised in conjunction with SFA’s $100 million Capital Campaign, Elevate.

The campaign, which began its silent phase in September 2015, is the most ambitious in SFA’s almost 100-year history. More than 14,500 donors have supported the Elevate SFA campaign, including 8,603 donors who made a first-time gift to the university. Twelve gifts during the silent phase of the campaign are valued at $1 million or more.

Two SFA students, a young alumnus and a mathematics professor, Dr. Keith Hubbard, provided their own personal stories in support of the campaign, and their videos are available for viewing on the campaign website, www.sfasu.edu/elevate. Engineering alumnus Daniel Campos of Lufkin is featured in a video, along with Ladyjack Basketball player Avery Brittingham and Repertory Dance Company member Addison Pope.  A composite video features the voice of SFA theatre faculty member Brad Maule.

Anchored by four objectives that are instrumental to SFA’s strategic plan, the campaign supports SFA in pursuing its vision to engage students in experiences that prepare them for the challenges of living in a global community. The campaign priorities are:

Undergraduate student scholarships - Ensuring that SFA degrees are accessible and affordable ties in with one of the foundational goals of the SFA strategic plan – reducing the average student debt. It can also play a role in another foundational goal – increasing retention.

Faculty support - A priority of the campaign is building an endowment to ensure SFA is competitive when recruiting qualified and knowledgeable faculty who are able to drive program enhancements and innovation. Funds also may be used to establish centers or institutes on campus to advance an area of study and to create interdisciplinary programs that appeal to students’ academic interests and the workforce needs of employers.

Facility enhancements - Another goal of the campaign is assuring students, faculty and staff have access to modern facilities that meet their needs, such as the recent additions and renovations at the Griffith Fine Arts Building.

Program support - This support provides operating funds to strengthen and elevate both academic and athletic programs.

The comprehensive capital campaign will conclude before the beginning of the university’s centennial celebration, which begins in 2023.