Sharing the SHSU Vision

Only one year into its drive for University advancement, the Share the Vision Campaign has raised more than half of its campaign goal of $50 million.

With the help of 70 contributors, the campaign has raised approximately $34 million dollars for the advancement of academic standards, improvement of the image of the University and enhancement of campus life.

Share the Vision is the first official fundraising campaign at Sam Houston State University. The concept was established during James F. Gaertner’s presidency.

Vice President for University Advancement Frank Holmes was largely responsible for the campaign. Holmes pitched the idea to the chairs and started to campaign for money several years ago.

Holmes hired a consultant, interviewed alumni and sent out mail surveys to more than 3000 alumni to gage confidence in the campaign.

“The results were overwhelming,” Holmes said. “We received greater than a 10 percent response.”

Major contributors include alumnus Dan Rather, who donated $2 million to the University in 2006.

John R. Ragsdale is another former Bearkat that has donated money for the advancement of Sam Houston State.

“The latest contribution was $1.25 million dollars from SHSU alumnus John R. Ragsdale,” Holmes said.

The Board of Regents recently approved the decision to name the new Visitor’s Center in honor of Ragsdale.

Don Sanders made a $1 million contribution to the University this Spring. The one-year-old baseball complex was named after him respectively.

“We’ve received lots of other great gifts and contributions,” Holmes said.

As of 2004, the University has had 37 donators who contributed $25,000 cumulative according to Holmes.

Since the Share the Vision Campaign, SHSU has seen over 70 contributors raising similar amounts.

The Share the Vision Campaign’s primary goal is meet the needs of the students and constituencies of the University, according to its website.

“The plan is positioning the University for a new century of service.”

The campaign calls for a strict appropriation of funds. According to the campaign website, each of the five colleges will recieve $250,000 for instructional equipment, computer labs, reading rooms and library holdings.

The Library collection will receive $1 million and the Athletic learning center and weight training facility will receive a total of $750,000.

The campaign also provides for permanently endowed funds for need-based and merit-based scholarships.

Approximately $5,250,000 will be appropriated for construction projects as well.

For more information, visit the Share the Vision Campaign Web site at

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