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November 19, 2019

Roberts Wesleyan College Launches $15 Million Connect the Community Campaign, Reaches Nearly $8.7 Million in Funding

Roberts Wesleyan College is pleased to announce it has received a total of $8,694,075 million in funding as part of its Connect the Community capital campaign, which aims to raise a total of $15 million for the development of the Golisano Community Engagement Center and strengthen connections between students, the college and the Greater Rochester community. The campaign will fund the remaining $6,305,925 million needed to cover the construction of the state-of-the-art building and a new north campus entrance, provide a sustaining endowment for the center, and create new training programs and student life resources.

“There is heightened enthusiasm on campus, among our family of alumni, community partners and students, about the expected impact this new facility will have,” said Deana L. Porterfield, president of Roberts Wesleyan College. “The Golisano Community Engagement Center will be designed to provide a superior educational environment that serves all of our students and provides a place for learning, training and networking for Rochester-area businesses, organizations and community members. Having this type of center available for so many different kinds of interactions and activities will move us forward in significant ways to achieve our strategic goals of Engaged Campus Culture, Innovative Growth and Transformational Partnerships.”

The first phase of the Connect the Community campaign was initiated in August with a $7.5 million gift from Paychex founder and philanthropist Tom Golisano to build the innovative new Community Engagement Center. The gift is the largest in Roberts Wesleyan’s 153-year history. The 25,000-square-foot two-story center will serve as a hub for connection, collaboration and student life resources, serving as the first building on campus to provide centralized meeting spaces and community interaction opportunities for all students. Construction on the building is expected to take 14 months, with a grand opening set for fall 2021.

The building will also function as a workplace for Roberts’ growing custom training and education programs, such as the newly launched Community Institutes, which provide custom educational solutions and resources to Rochester-area businesses and organizations seeking affordable, real-world learning experiences and insight.

Roberts Wesleyan College will now enter the second phase of the Connect the Community campaign, opening fundraising opportunities to the public and alumni networks, with a goal of raising 80% of the funds for the building before breaking ground in the fall of 2020. The college will host several events over the next year for potential donors, friends of the college and alumni to learn more about the campaign from college representatives and leaders. Those interested in contributing to this endeavor by making a gift or a pledge to be fulfilled over multiple years can do so at any time online by visiting the Connect the Community campaign website.

“We are blessed to have the support of our Roberts family and Greater Rochester on this endeavor,” Porterfield said. “It’s an exciting time for us at Roberts Wesleyan and we welcome others to join us in this campaign and be partners in the transformational work of education for character, both in our student body and to the Rochester community.”


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