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Christendom launches $40 million campaign

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Christendom College in Front Royal publicly launched a comprehensive $40 million campaign Sept. 9, the most ambitious fundraising effort in its history. The initiative will help build the new Christ the King Chapel, double the endowment, and assist with the annual fund.

The campaign, titled “A Call to Greatness,” was rolled out during a special on-campus ceremony that brought together staff, faculty, benefactors and the board of directors.

“At this critical point in the history of our country, in the history of our church, and in the history of our college, this campaign will strengthen and advance Christendom as a shining beacon of hope,” said Christendom President Timothy O'Donnell. “There are too many people wounded and suffering in our world who have no hope, and Christendom remains one of the best-kept secrets. We need to let people know that there is this place, on over 200 acres overlooking the Shenandoah River, where Christ reigns as king. Because He reigns as King here, students are joyful and happy, because they are living in the truth - the truth for which God made them."

The campaign hopes to raise $40 million by 2018 in celebration of the college's 40th anniversary. More than $28 million has been raised -72 percent of the final goal.

Christendom is in the midst of unprecedented growth, with the college nearly doubling its physical campus to 200 acres over the past year and with plans to open a new residence hall next year. With record enrollment of 480 students for its 2017 academic year the college is preparing to bring in its largest class in the fall of 2017.

The new campaign will help expand Christendom's mission through three goals. First, $13.5 million will go toward the new chapel. The spiritual, intellectual and social heart of the campaign, the new chapel is the most ambitious building project in the college's 39-year history, featuring a doubled seating capacity and a 130-foot Gothic bell tower that will rise out of the Shenandoah Valley and be visible for miles. The new chapel will have a traditional, cruciform structure, with a high altar at the center, refurbished, historic bells for the bell tower, eight prayer altars, and an Our Lady's chapel behind the altar.

The chapel will be built on recently purchased land, enabling Christendom to preserve the beauty of the old chapel by converting it into a center for the community's vibrant Catholic culture. The campus' St. Lawrence Commons, which was recently upgraded with a new dining hall, will be further expanded with an upgraded “pedestrian piazza.”

An additional $13.5 million will go toward the college endowment fund - doubling it. By doing so, the college will ensure its financial and institutional stability by generating permanent financial resources.

Since its founding, Christendom has not accepted any money from the federal government, allowing it to remain free to teach the fullness of Catholic doctrine. Doubling the endowment preserves and strengthens that independence, and continues competitive scholarships and financial support.

The campaign will raise $13 million for the annual fund, to cover the gap between the cost of educating students and the revenue the college receives.

The annual fund will cover the college's two largest areas of expenses each year during the life of the campaign. First, it will cover the college's Freedom Fund for Student Financial Aid, which makes it possible for Christendom to continue to recruit and teach students. Second, it will cover the day-to-day operating costs of the college, ensuring a top-notch educational experience for students both in and outside the classroom.

“Christendom, this shining beacon of hope, will shine out for our families, it will shine out for our country, and for our church as well, as we strengthen and advance the college as a center of Catholic educational excellence,” said O'Donnell in his concluding remarks. “All of us, united together, are making a difference. We can continue to accomplish great things for Christ, through this precious educational apostolate, which is Jesus Christ.”

Find out more

Go to the newly launched website at  campaign.christendom.edu .


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016