News & Events

Mars Hill University Kicks Off $31 Million Fundraising Campaign

Building Our U LogosMars Hill University announced a $31 million capital fundraising campaign Friday evening, September 18, with an event at Lioncrest at Biltmore Estate. The "Building Our University" campaign is designed to enhance the student experience at Mars Hill and targets new and renovated facilities, program development, student scholarships, and faculty development.

The five-year Building Our University campaign began in June 2013 with the "quiet phase," during which the university finalized fundraising goals, selected a steering committee for the campaign, and began soliciting lead gifts. Friday's announcement kicked off the "public phase" of the campaign. As of Friday's announcement, the university already has raised more than $25 million (82 percent) of the campaign total.

The most publicly visible of the campaign priorities are those dealing with facilities. The campaign includes funding for Day Hall, a three-story building currently under construction at the corner of Main Street and College Street in Mars Hill. Day Hall will house classroom space for the university's largest academic program, business, as well as the university bookstore, a black box theatre, student gathering spaces, a cafe, and box office space for adjacent Owen Theatre.

Ferguson Health Sciences Center, currently under construction at the corner of NC 213 and Dormitory Drive, will house the Judge-McRae School of Nursing. Both the building and development of the nursing program are included in the Building Our University campaign. The development of the Judge-McRae School of Nursing will help address the nursing shortage and expanding healthcare needs of the region. Ferguson Health Sciences Center will feature state-of-the-art clinical spaces and simulation labs.

Huffman Residence Hall is undergoing a major renovation as part of the campaign. The project reflects the university's commitment to historic preservation (Huffman opened in 1947) and more efficient use of resources.

Wren Student Union, the focal point of student life since the mid-1970s, is slated for a major overhaul, thanks to the Building Our University campaign. The renovation plan for the student center includes a modern fitness center, upgraded cafe and coffeehouse, and reworked multipurpose spaces dedicated to student use.

A new athletics field house will support the university's growing athletics programs, providing locker room and training spaces for football, women's soccer, and tennis, while enhancing recruitment and retention efforts.

Less visible but equally important to the success of the campaign and the university are efforts targeted at increasing funds for student scholarships, faculty development, and the Mars Hill Fund. Ninety-nine percent of Mars Hill students require financial assistance, and the scholarship portion of the campaign is the largest single fundraising priority, at $9 million. By expanding resources for faculty study and research, Mars Hill will be able to help assure that the student experience remains relevant and contemporary. The Mars Hill Fund provides the ongoing lifeblood of the university, meeting immediate and urgent needs from scholarships to repairs.

The specific breakdown of the campaign goals is:

  • Wren Student Center: $5.5 million
  • Nursing program development (including facilities): $5 million
  • Day Hall: $2 million
  • Endowed student scholarships: $9 million
  • Endowed faculty development: $2.5 million
  • Mars Hill Fund: $2.5 million
  • Huffman Residence Hall: $3 million
  • Athletics field house: $1.5 million

More information about the Building Our University campaign is available at .

Campaign Kickoff Numbers

Students and staff hold up numbers representing the $25,665,521 that Mars Hill University has raised during the quiet phase of the Building Our University campaign. The university kicked off the public phase of the $31 million campaign Friday evening, September 18, 2015, at Lioncrest at Biltmore Estate.