Anderson University to Improve Cyber Program, Infrastructure

Anderson University, Indiana is trying to raise $20 million to provide scholarships and more hands-on opportunities in five programs, including cybersecurity, education, engineering, business and nursing.

anderson university
Anderson University, Indiana
<a href="" target="_blank">Flickr/David Armstrong</a>
(TNS) — Anderson University has embarked on the public phase of an ambitious donor campaign to raise funds that will enhance its mission of sending into the world graduates who embody its core values of responsibility, generosity, servant leadership, integrity and excellence.

Called to Soar looks to the university’s 30,000 alumni and other donors to raise $20 million, of which $12.5 million was raised during the two-year silent phase.

“Even during the pandemic, our supporters have continued their generous giving in ways that make a difference in the lives of our students,” said Jen Hunt, AU’s vice president for advancement.

AU President John S. Pistole said the three-year fundraising campaign was determined with the help of consultants.

“We thought we would do something that was achievable, so we went with what some people say was a realistic goal,” he said.

The vision serving as the foundation of the fundraising campaign includes scholarships, academic excellence and campus renewal, he said. Each element is expected to be funded with about one-third of the funds raised.

The university hopes to help deserving students overcome the financial barriers that prevent them from having an excellent college experience, Pistole said.

“We’re hoping for current-day scholarships, but if someone wanted to give an endowment in honor of their parents or something, that would be great, too,” he said.

Though the university already offers merit scholarships, Pistole said he hopes the funds raised through Called to Soar will be able to help hundreds of people who otherwise might not be able to attend AU. He said many students come from middle-income families where a father may be a police officer and a mother a school teacher with several children to raise.

"As we were planning for this, someone said, 'What about the B student whose family loves Jesus?'" he said.

In terms of academic excellence, Pistole said, AU hopes to provide more pre-career hands-on learning opportunities in five targeted programs, including business, cybersecurity, education, engineering and nursing.

"We did a pretty thorough review and undertaking of what the high-demand jobs are," he said. "These five areas are all distinctive compelling and relevant to today's graduates."

Like many schools, Pistole said, AU has significant infrastructure that must be maintained and in some instances, upgraded to intensify the student experience through conversation, study and recreation. The capital improvements are not expected to include new construction, he added.

"We have a lot of great facilities on campus, but frankly, many of them need updating," he said.

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