Abilene Christian University launched Higher Ground, a $250 million comprehensive campaign, designed to invest in people, programs and facilities to ensure ACU can successfully compete on a larger national and international stage.
Dr. Phil Schubert, ACU president, announced the public phase of the campaign April 2 at the annual President’s Circle donor event and reported that $167.5 million has already been committed.
“As we move toward the next milestones in our development, support from friends and alumni will help us invest in our core programs and expand the exceptional opportunities available to students, faculty and staff,” Schubert said. “We will reach greater heights from a position of strength as we equip students to discover their created purpose and embrace their place in God’s story.”
Through Higher Ground, ACU will:
Strengthen and elevate its academic profile – $132 million
• Recruit, retain and reward exemplary faculty
• Develop a next-level research engine and academic infrastructure
• Remove financial barriers for current and future Wildcats
• Invest in state-of-the art academic facilities
Enhance and increase transformational experiences – $118 million
• Reimagine residential living communities and student-centric spaces
• Expand opportunities for life-changing and spiritually formative student experiences
• Embody a culture of diversity and inclusion
• Advance Division I, Christ-centered athletics
Fundraising will continue through May 2025, but the university is well on its way to achieving these goals with more than two-thirds of the total already committed and several capital projects underway:
- Moody Coliseum – Home to some of ACU’s biggest traditions, Moody Coliseum has served as the soul of campus for decades, and now significant upgrades are underway to bring Moody up to date, including seating and accessibility, lighting and sound systems, new classroom and office spaces, expanded lobbies, a hospitality suite and more.
- Freshman Village – This comprehensive renovation and construction campaign is already underway to modernize ACU’s residence halls to meet the living and learning needs of today’s students. Fueled by generous contributions, the first of these new communities, Bullock Hall, opened in August 2021 on the former site of McDonald Hall, and the second, Wessel Hall, broke ground in 2022 on the former site of Gardner Hall.
- Cullen Auditorium – The Roy and Lillie Cullen Auditorium has had a long-standing history of showcasing ACU’s talented music and theatre students. Cullen is now being revitalized with improvements to seating, lighting, sound system, backstage and storage areas to make it a premiere concert and event venue located at the heart of campus.
- Science and Engineering Research Center – This 28,000-square-foot facility will house the next generation of the NEXT Lab’s molten salt test system and will allow physics, engineering and chemistry students to contribute to world-class research and groundbreaking technology.
- Mabee Business Building – Renovations are underway on the 35-year-old Mabee Business Building, including updates to the classroom wing, a larger and more advanced finance lab and an upgraded digital experience lab. These upgrades will help prepare the next generation of students in the College of Business Administration for the complex needs and technological advancements in the workforce.
Along with significant support for a variety of programs across campus, donors have committed $37.2 million to endowments in the campaign period, creating 100 new endowments for scholarships, faculty chairs and professorships, coaching, library collections and key academic programs. ACU’s total active endowments now number over 1,000.
“We are capitalizing on the momentum we have built and securing our future going forward,” said Dan Macaluso, vice president for advancement. “Our increased visibility as an emerging national university presents an opportunity for ACU to reach even higher ground through these campaign priorities. Thanks to bold and faithful leadership, the generosity of the ACU community, and God’s providence, we are uniquely positioned to become one of the nation’s premier Christian universities.”
— Wendy Kilmer
Apr. 4, 2022