Foundation History

April 2022 marks the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Shippensburg University Foundation.

Below is a look at the decades of success that has led the SU Foundation to where it is today.


Shippensburg State College Trust receives and processes gifts from private sources. Sixty individual funds, including 2 unrestricted, are established. Holdings grow from $3,000 to $400,000.


In order to attract more private dollars to fund scholarships for students, planning begins for an independent, non-profit, organization that can facilitate giving from prospective benefactors and to raise more money to support the college.


The Shippensburg University Foundation is created, incorporated under the non-profit corporation law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for the purpose of receiving gifts, grants, devises or bequests for the ultimate benefit of Shippensburg University. Richard D. Rife, president of Capital Blue Cross at that time, is elected president of the SU Foundation Board of Directors.


In January the SU Foundation becomes operational. In April, the Shippensburg State College Trust is dissolved and all the Trust’s assets transferred to the SU Foundation.


Alumni giving doubles from 9% to 18%.


The SU Foundation’s inaugural capital campaign, the ‘Old Main’ Campaign, gets underway in October with a $350,000 goal. Its purpose is to renovate the main administrative building on campus. It concludes in December 1986, successfully raising $470,820.


In the fall, the SU Foundation announces “To Enhance the Tradition” comprehensive campaign seeking endowment support for student scholarships, academic programs and the SU Foundation’s unrestricted endowment. Other initiatives include the purchase of land and buildings and the renovation of campus facilities. The goal is $8,467,000.


“To Enhance the Tradition” campaign concludes in June, eighteen months before its scheduled completion date, raising $12,725,095 – $4,258,095 over the original goal. It is a great success. $9,242,966 is attributed to Annual Fund efforts. Of the rest, $1,651,000 represents direct contributions from the SU Foundation Board of Directors.


Taking advantage of the challenge from the Commonwealth, the SU Foundation immediately undertakes the next campaign, “Building for a Better Future: The Campaign for Shippensburg University”. The goal is $3,200,000


Using Commonwealth funding and funds from private sources, the University builds a 35,000 square foot addition to the Dauphin Center to house the Mathematics/Computer Science Department and the University Computing Center. A new 65,000 square foot building becomes the new home of the John L. Grove College of Business and the University Media Center. The departments of Political Science and Sociology/Anthropology also relocate here. Shippen Hall is renovated; the College of Education and Human Services moves in.


“Building for a Better Future: The Campaign for Shippensburg University” concludes raising $3,439,251 – 107% of its goal. Another campaign, “To Enhance the Spirit”, a targeted, specialized, campaign gets underway to raise $1,800,000 for a Spiritual Center and Interfaith Chapel. The result is a 7,000 square foot facility, built on private land owned by the SU Foundation. The Center addresses a need for a sanctuary for spiritual growth and fellowship. It concludes in 1998 raising $1,821,113.


The SU Foundation purchases and renovates an apartment complex bordering campus. This becomes College Park Commons, a 74-unit complex providing safe and convenient housing for students. Stone Ridge, a 61-unit, suite style, dormitory building is constructed next door. Both properties are owned and managed by the SU Foundation.


In September, the most ambitious comprehensive campaign in the history of the SU Foundation kicks off. “Navigating into the Future” sets an impressive goal of $40 million. The campaign will raise funds for four areas: facilities – $13 million, endowment – $12 million, technology – $5 million and the Annual Fund – $10 million.


Shippensburg University dedicates the 1,500 seat, state-of-the-art, H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center. Constructed with over $10 million raised through campaign funds and $9,925 million from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, this is one of the great success stories of the campaign.


In June, the SU Foundation moves from the Davis House to the newly constructed conference center at 500 Newburg Road. Construction costs are covered 100% by the SU Foundation.


After seven years, the “Navigating into the Future” comprehensive campaign concludes raising $50,368,538 – more than $10 million of the original $40 million goal. It is the most successful campaign ever in the history of Shippensburg University and in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.


Students move into Hot Point Commons, the third student housing complex owned and managed by the SU Foundation. The 21, four bedroom, townhouses accommodate 84 students.


On October 13, 2012 the Shippensburg University Foundation publically announced Charting the Course, Lighting the Way – the Campaign for Shippensburg University. A goal of $45 million was set – it is the highest campaign goal in Shippensburg University Foundation history. The Campaign will benefit the People, Programs, and Places of Shippensburg University


Bartos Child & Family Center Dedication On April 18, in recognition of the philanthropy of Dr. Robert Bartos and Mrs. Barbara Bartos and their commitment to education, and Dr. Bartos’ significant contributions to the College of Education and Human Services, the SU Council of Trustees named the SU Foundation’s Child & Family Center, the Bartos Child and Family Center.


On May 20, Raider Capital Ventures LLC, along with city, county, and state officials, Shippensburg University officials, and representatives from local industry and economic development organizations celebrated the beginning of construction of the Courtyard by Marriott Shippensburg hotel with a groundbreaking ceremony.


On October 9, Raider Capital Ventures LLC, owner of the Courtyard by Marriott at Shippensburg celebrated the opening of its new four-story, 110-room select-service hotel. The hotel officially opened on September 29, 2015. Shaner Hotel Group of State College, Pennsylvania is managing and operating the hotel. The hotel is located at 503 Newburg Road, adjacent to the Conference Center at Shippensburg University. This prime location is just minutes away from the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center, Seth Grove Stadium, and the Shippensburg University campus in general.


On January 29, the SU Foundation dedicated the Brad E. Hollinger Stock Trading Room. The stock trading room is a result of a gift made by Brad E. Hollinger to the SU Foundation’s comprehensive campaign, Charting the Course, Lighting the Way, the Campaign for Shippensburg University. “This trading room,” says Hollinger, “will give students the tools they need to do research and actively manage money in real time so they can be experienced in the software and databases they need for their future careers. This compliments the human capital you have in the outstanding faculty and will greatly enhance the quality of a business degree from Ship.”


On April 23, the Shippensburg University Foundation celebrated the official close of Charting the Course, Lighting the Way, the Campaign for Shippensburg University. The campaign, which began with a private phase in 2010, was publically launched in 2012. The campaign goal of $45 million, the highest goal in the history of the Shippensburg University Foundation, was exceeded by over $23 million for a grand total of $69,010,914.


The Fashion Archives and Museum of Shippensburg University moves into the SU Foundation’s newly renovated Davis House. The Exhibition Gallery is named for Dora A. Addams for her contributions of time and treasure. The Giving the Past a Future with Style campaign concludes raising over $537,900 for the museum


On February 9, the SU Foundation and Shippensburg University celebrated the dedication of the new Charles H. Diller Jr. Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation. The Center is the result of a gift made by Mr. Charles H. Jr. and Mrs. Jane E. Diller to Charting the Course, Lighting the Way, the Campaign for Shippensburg University. The Center complements the University’s newly established entrepreneurship major and minor and provides additional funding for student competitions, speakers, entrepreneurship mentors, student organizations, seminars, conferences, and other opportunities.


With the help of Rep. Mark Keller, the SU Foundation received a state grant to complete a critical road connecting the SU campus to the Conference Center, SU Foundation, and the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel


The Campaign for Stewart Hall, a part of Charting the Course, Lighting the Way campaign, provides funding to support the restoration of Stewart Hall, which was completed in 2020. The SU Council of Trustees name the Exhibition Hall for Gary and Mary Jo Grove, ’68&’70M – ’69&’70M, and the second floor promenade for Clyde and Carol Cressler ’65-’66.


The Kathryn Hughes Seaber Raiders Academic Center for Student Athletes is dedicated in April of 2021. This area is a dedicated space where student-athletes can study, collaborate on group projects, and receive tutoring to support their personal and professional growth.


The Mr. & Mrs. Milton K. Morgan III Makerspace opens in the Charles H. Diller Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation in downtown Shippensburg. The Makerspace offers hands-on tools to bring students’ ideas to fruition.


The SU Foundation celebrates its 45th Anniversary and raises $8,960,054 in contributions, the highest total in SU Foundation history.


The School of Engineering was named the Milton and Doreen Morgan School of Engineering. The Morgan’s investment in Shippensburg University students provides for an engineering scholarship endowment, an engineering research endowment, equipment and instrumentation for the engineering laboratory, and angel investment dollars which will provide seed funds for student projects.