Now and Forever


Armed with a consultant’s survey that proved overwhelming support for Emporia State University, the Emporia State University Foundation is preparing plans that will lead to launching a comprehensive fund-raising campaign.

“Now and Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University” will engage alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends in a mission to raise private funds for the university’s students, faculty and learning environments.

The Foundation’s Executive Committee has approved a recommendation to solicit $45,351,863 in private gifts and grants for Emporia State, its programs and its students.  The university will celebrate its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2013, and the final numbers in the working goal – “1,863” – represent the year Emporia State was founded.   

“The Foundation’s executive committee was unanimous in its support of the campaign and its recommended working goal,” said Foundation board of trustees chairperson Lana Oleen of Manhattan.

“We are fully committed to the endeavor and very excited for the future of Emporia State,” Oleen continued.

Currently in its planning stage, the campaign will ensure Emporia State meets critical needs in areas involving opportunities for students, improved living and learning environments, and strengthening faculty and athletics.

Campaign gifts will allow Emporia State to recruit more new students, teach and retain them, help them graduate, and see that they are well-qualified to secure jobs.

The Foundation Board of Trustees met in August to hear results from a fund-raising feasibility study conducted during the past seven months by J.F. Smith Group, Inc., an Auburn, Ala.-based consulting firm specializing in helping clients determine levels of support and determining realistic fund-raising levels.

The consultants based their feasibility study conclusions on personal interviews, focus groups and an online survey. The study revealed:

  • Positive response of survey participants to Emporia State’s mission and their belief that the university is fulfilling that mission are strong justifications for a comprehensive capital campaign.
  • Confidence in the leadership of President Michael D. Shonrock and in the quality of the university.
  • Agreement with the proposed investment opportunities creating opportunities for students, strengthening faculty, improving the living and learning environment, endowing funds for excellence, and athletics.
  • Successful and dedicated alumni and friends who believe in our mission and our passionate about their university.

“As with any goal, the greater the challenge, the sweeter the achievement,” said Dr. Michael D. Shonrock, Emporia State president.

“Our future is in raising the bar. If we continue to raise the bar for this institution, we will grow and we will develop and be successful together,” Shonrock continued.

The campaign will be the largest and most comprehensive of its type in Emporia State’s history, exceeding the $15 million “Building Blocks of Success” scholarship campaign completed in 2007, and the $25 million “Campaign 2000,” which reached its goal in 1997.

“The comprehensive campaign working goal speaks to the enormous value that our alumni and friends place on our great university,” said DenaSue Potestio, ESU Foundation president. 

“This is an amazing place,” said Potestio, who arrived in June to lead Emporia State’s fund-raising efforts in support of students and faculty.  “I am deeply privileged to partner with President Shonrock, our Foundation Board of Trustees, our alumni, and our community to lead what will be the largest, most comprehensive campaign in our history.”

For more information, contact the Emporia State University Foundation at 620-341-5440.