Capital Campaign strives to improve environment


All Marian students have that certain something that they wish would be fixed. So when the survey went out last year asking a million questions on what Marian could change, students had a variety of responses.

“We were all dreaming of a perfect school. It seemed like none of it could really happen,” junior Audrey Yost said. “It would be amazing if we could put our dreams in to action.”

“I think I put something on the survey about needing more places for relaxation. I just think that a pool would be a great addition,” junior Lily Watkins said, “but the bathrooms were in dire need of attention.

This survey provided Marian with specific information on what needed to be fixed and the Marian girls’ wishes were finally granted when new bathrooms greeted them on the first day of school.  In the October Network Survey the same question was asked: ‘If Marian had unlimited money, what should be fixed?’ Suggested improvements ranged from removing dividers from lockers to redoing the track by sophomore lot. Alas, Marian does not have an unlimited amount of money to give to every single renovation that the building needs.

A feedback board composed of alums, parents, board members and faculty started meeting to make choices on the most pressing needs in the school community. The data from the survey was also used to decide how to go about working on Marian and in the end, it all came together into a capital campaign. A capital campaign is an extraordinary fundraiser that raises enough money to cover things that aren’t covered by tuition, for example. The money is acquired by reaching out into the extended Marian community, finding volunteers, donors, and generous hearts.

Library view with people .jpg

Architectural rendering of the new entry way. Photo courtesy of Leo A. Daly.

What will primarily be fixed in this new development is the entry into the building, a new technological center instead of a traditional library, and the relocation of the chapel into the former choir room, Room 312. The fundraising campaign is also meant to supply endowments for tuition assistance and teacher salaries.

The Steier Group, a Catholic development consulting firm, is in charge of the campaign and fundraising the money to make it happen. Past clients of the Steier Group include the Madonna School, the Stephen Center, Mount Michael Benedictine High School and Mary Our Queen Grade School. They have been around for about 19 years, and have helped clients raise over one billion dollars.

“We have hired the Steier Group to work with us for one year.  This breaks down to three months of preparation, three months of ‘silent phase’ and six months of the ‘public phase’ to recruit campaign pledges,” President Mary Higgins said.

The campaign is projected to raise $8-10 million and start construction in spring of 2018. This gives Marian many opportunities to advance student resources and create an updated environment.

Kevin Warneke, father of Katie, who graduated in ‘13, is in charge of the campaign that the Steier Group is creating. “I’m excited because this is the place that my daughter went to high school, so I have a vested interest in helping Marian reach its goals, and I am honored that I am the person who gets to do that,” Warneke said.


Architectural rendering of new front entrance. Photo Courtesy of Leo A. Daly.

He will be working at Marian Monday through Thursday and from the Steier office on Fridays.

“Overall, this is an incredibly exciting project for Marian. We have the opportunity to do something extraordinary for Marian. I look forward to meeting with our generous donors and seeing the endowment growth and the facility enhancements come to fruition,” Higgins said.

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