Stephens College reaches phase I fundraising goal ahead of schedule

Friday, April 6, 2012 | 3:26 p.m. CDT; updated 7:49 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 7, 2012
Stephens College students take an exam at a renovated model classroom Thursday morning in Dudley Hall. The school just finished the first phase of their fundraiser, Room to Grow: The Campaign for Classrooms, raising $500,000. There are plans to renovate nine other classrooms across the campus.

COLUMBIA – A Stephens College campaign to improve classrooms on campus has exceeded the phase 1 goal of $500,000 ahead of schedule.

Room to Grow: The Campaign for Classrooms has raised nearly $600,000.


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The campaign that began Oct. 19 reached its phase I goal by Feb. 10, over three and a half months before the expected date of May 31, said Amy Gipson, the spokeswoman of the Room to Grow campaign.

“We are thrilled with the response to date and hope the momentum will continue at a high pace since the need for renovation is so great," she said. "Donors see this need as well, and they appreciate the quick return on investment — to see their gifts at work immediately.”

Proceeds from phase I will be used to renovate nine classrooms in Walter and Dudley halls, as well as a lab in the Pillsbury Science Center.

SMART Boards, or similar interactive whiteboards, and computerized lecterns are some of the pieces of updated technology Stephens wishes to implement.

The college is also making cosmetic improvements to make the space more “comfortable, useable and attractive," said Shelley Gabert, director of marketing and public relations at Stephens College.

The classrooms will be furnished with more modular and flexible furniture, as well as appropriate lighting and window coverings to make the best use of the technology, Gabert said.

“Besides the cosmetics, technology is a big thing,” she said. “We have two model classrooms that are already in place to demonstrate what it will look like.”

The campaign is set up in four phases with a final goal of $2 million. Stephens is hoping to reach this goal by May 31, 2013, so all renovations can be completed by the fall semester of the 2013-14 academic year.

The remaining phases will implement the same improvements to more classrooms, as well as renovations to bathrooms and hallways.

“The campaign is definitely of interest to our alumni and the community,” Gabert said.

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