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Bluefield University Centennial Campaign Exceeds $18 Million Goal

by | Dec 28, 2021

BLUEFIELD, VA – Bluefield University has raised over $18 million in Go Further: The Centennial Campaign for Bluefield University.  In preparation for the centennial celebration, the Bluefield University Board of Trustees established a comprehensive campaign to be completed in its 100th year.

“This campaign will prepare the way for the institution’s second century of service,” said Dr. David Olive, President.  “The generous gifts and investments given during this campaign will enable Bluefield University to truly ‘Go Further’ as we continue to grow and expand into degree programs that meet current market needs in the health sciences field alongside our new sister institutions.”

The centennial campaign centered on three areas of focus beginning with support for students.  Support for students amid the rising cost of higher education in the United States was a priority to be met through a two-pronged approach.  First by increasing the funds available through The University Fund (formerly the BC Fund for Scholarships), the institution’s unrestricted annual scholarship fund.  This was accomplished by expanding key giving campaigns, such as the institution’s “Giving Day” in April and the “#RiseUpRams” campaign for student-athletes in August.  Second, the creation of several endowed scholarships was accomplished helping donors to leave a legacy while financially supporting students seeking their undergraduate education.

“Bluefield University is an institution that has remained true to its mission since 1922 in supporting students with demonstrated need,” said Joshua Cline, Vice President for Institutional Advancement.  “Raising these funds is critical because it allows students to gain an education and job-ready degree in a dynamic and Christ-centered learning community without being burdened with high levels of student loan debt.  Even more so, they will leave as graduates with values learned and experiences gained that will make them the servant-leaders we need in the work force, our shared civic spaces, and their homes.”

Enhancing and constructing new facilities was the second area of focus for University leaders.  In 2018 work began on the $2.7 million addition of a third floor to the University’s Science Center.  This addition houses the School of Nursing and its seated undergraduate nursing degree program, which grew from the master’s programs offered by the school.  It features a state-of-the-art skills lab for hands-on training before working with actual patients.  With the long-term lease of the Herb Sims Center from the City of Bluefield, West Virginia, plans shifted from an on-campus wellness center to meet the need for additional practice and intramural space.  Work has already begun on the South Campus Athletics Complex with a multi-sport turf field, multi-sport locker room facility, and state-of-the-art softball complex.

University leaders also focused on investing in academics for the future viability of the institution.  Through its new partnership with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine and its four campuses in the Southeastern United States and the Appalachian College of Pharmacy, Bluefield University is pivoting towards new degree programs in the health sciences that meet current market needs.  Recent new offerings include: the undergraduate nursing program in the School of Nursing, a Masters of Arts in Biomedical Sciences (MABS) program offered in-person and online from the School of Sciences, and the School of Education and Social Sciences is expanding counseling degree programs to meet rising mental health needs of our world.  Other announcements will follow in the months ahead pending accrediting approval.

“Bluefield University is such an important part of the local region, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Appalachia,” said Cathy Corte Payne, Chair of the centennial campaign.  “The support of dedicated alumni, foundations, key partners, corporations, and our local community has made it a success!  In turn, all will continue to find Bluefield University to be a dependable strategic partner for another 100 years.”

The University would like to thank the following individuals for their assistance in Go Further: The Centennial Campaign for Bluefield University:

Campaign Steering Team

Dr. David Bailey ’60, Mr. John Beckett, Mr. Steve Bickford, the late Mrs. Peggy Bickford ’71, Dr. Tom Brewster ’91, Mr. Brandon Caldwell ’02, Mrs. Martha Dodd-Slippy ’05, Mr. Gordon Grimes ’94, Dr. Chris Lawson ’01, the late Rev. Jack Marcom ’62, Ms. Jennifer Mitchell ’08, Dr. Charles Nunn, Mrs. Sarah Reid ’68, Mr. Craig Stout, and Rev. William Tuck ‘55

Centennial Campaign Cabinet

Mrs. Catherine Corte Payne ’92 – Campaign Chair, Dr. Garry Jones ’74 – Honorary Campaign Chair, Mr. Steve Bickford, the late Mrs. Peggy Bickford ’71, Dr. Donald Caudill, Dr. Michael P. Harris ’97, Mr. Robert Houck ’67, and Mr. Thomas Scott, Jr., Esq.

In April, the University will hold its annual Giving Day campaign to encourage alumni, friends, and the community at large to support the institution.  The centennial campaign will conclude at the end of the University’s fiscal year on June 30, 2022.  Gifts can be made at any time by visiting or by calling The Office of Institutional Advancement at 276.326.4458.

Bluefield University

[email protected] • 276.326.4212

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