BVU Announces $27.5 Million Capital Campaign

BVU Announces $27.5 Million Capital Campaign

BVU Announces $27.5 Million Capital Campaign
The campaign kickoff event, held on Oct. 7.

Buena Vista University announced Friday, Oct.7 that it has launched a $27.5 million capital campaign.

Entitled See Tomorrow: The Campaign for Buena Vista University, it is the most ambitious fundraising effort in BVU’s history and has already generated more than $21 million in early leadership commitments from BVU trustees, alumni and friends, says President Fred Moore.

“Our campaign places primary emphasis on initiatives that will enhance faculty development, provide more resources for financial aid for our students and increase their access to high-impact learning experiences — such as internships, international study-travel, and undergraduate research— which are increasingly vital to career preparation for today’s extremely competitive job market,” he says.

The campaign will also endow faculty chairs, a distinction reserved for faculty who are among the most prominent in their fields and who are widely known for their excellence as teachers and scholars.

Another campaign priority — a new synthetic turf field at J. Leslie Rollins Stadium — was installed this summer. The University was able to have the new field ready for the fall sports season thanks to a $1.1 million leadership gift from Cordell Peterson, BVU Class of 1962, and his wife, Sandra. The field was recently dedicated “Peterson Field” in their honor.

James Haahr, chairman of the BVU Board of Trustees, says, “When the Board approved a $27.5 million goal, we knew it was ambitious. But we also know that whenever the university demonstrates a critical need, our alumni and friends have always stepped forward.”

“We greatly appreciate the early leadership gifts that have established powerful momentum for this campaign. However, there is still much work to be done to reach our goal and we are counting on many other alumni and friends to invest in the future of BVU, commensurate with their means,” says Haahr, a 1962 BVU graduate who recently retired as chairman of Meta Financial Group, Storm Lake.

The BVU campaign priorities are allocated as follows:

  • Investing in students: $11 million
  • Investing in faculty: $9.5 million
  • Investing in campus: $3.5 million
  • Annual Fund: $3.5 million. This fund supports all aspects of student life, inside and outside the classroom

The following Trustees, alumni and friends have committed $1 million or more in leadership gifts to the Campaign:

Doug and Joanie Clausen, Dakota Dunes, S.D. Doug, a Trustee, is the president and CEO of VT Industries of Holstein. Through the Clausen Family Foundation, the Clausens have committed $1 million to endow the Clausen Family Chair in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business.

Jim and Gretchen Haahr, Storm Lake. Jim, Class of 1962, chair of the BVU Board of Trustees,is therecently retired chairman of the Meta Financial Group. The Haahrs have committed to a $1 million gift.

Don and Charlene Lamberti, Ankeny. Don, a BVU Life Trustee, is the retired CEO and Chairman of Casey’s General Stores. The Lambertis have committed $3 million to endow a chair in applied and professional ethics.

Cordell and Sandra Peterson, Reinbeck. Cordell, Class of 1963, and a BVU Trustee, is the founder and president of Peterson Contractors of Reinbeck. A $1.1 million leadership gift from the Petersons jumpstarted the construction of the new synthetic turf field and created an endowment for maintenance of the field, which has been renamed “Peterson Field” in their honor.

The McCorkle Family Trust. Created by the late Paul and Vivian McCorkle, Sac City, who were both Life Trustees, the Trust will provide $2 million for the campaign. Vivian was a 1959 graduate of BV.

An alumna who wishes to remain anonymous has committed $1 million to support student participation in choral music ensemble travel.

Another anonymous donor has committed $1 million to endowments to support the BVU Chaplain’s program and student science and math research projects.

The announcement of the Campaign was made Friday evening following the appearance of Tony Blair, prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1997-2007, who was the guest laureate for the 20th William W. Siebens American Heritage Lecture. In the afternoon, Blair participated in a Q&A program with a student panel before an audience of BVU students, faculty and staff.

For more information about this campaign, go to or contact the Office of Alumni and Development at 712.749.2101.