Amidst all the angst over the University's invitation to have President Obama speak at Commencement, there arose a groundswell of popular sentiment against making any donations to Notre Dame until and unless Our Lady's University forsook her evil ways and began adhering more devoutly to the policies and proscriptions of the Catholic Church. The "boycott", which received a lot of gratuitous coverage from a press corps that loves a good inter-family squabble among conservatives, would hit Father Jenkins and the administration where it really hurts - in the wallet! By withholding untold millions of dollars in donations the protesters would bring Notre Dame to its knees and bend her to their orthodox will!
The University announced yesterday that it had exceeded it's very ambitious goal of raising $1.5 Billion dollars through the "Spirit of Notre Dame" campaign two years early. According to the press release:
The University of Notre Dame has surpassed the $1.5 billion goal of the “Spirit of Notre Dame” campaign more than two years ahead of schedule, raising $1.54 billion in gifts and pledges as of June 22.
The largest fund-raising effort in the history of Catholic higher education, “Spirit” was launched publicly May 5, 2007, and will end June 30, 2011. The most comprehensive campaign in Notre Dame’s history, “Spirit” is structured to provide significant financial support to four primary pillars of the University’s life: the undergraduate educational experience, research and graduate studies, diversity and international studies, and Catholic intellectual life.
“We are humbled by the generosity of those who have contributed to the success of the ‘Spirit’ campaign,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “Our challenge now is to build upon this success to fully fund all of the priorities. In doing so, we can advance our vision to remain fully committed to our Catholic identity, provide an exceptional undergraduate experience, and become one of the nation’s pre-eminent research universities.”
Congratulations to Father Jenkins and the entire Notre Dame community on reaching this important milestone, which will help the University move into the 21st century with confidence despite the current global economic turmoil.