Capital Campaign

Annual Report to Donors – Autumn 2023

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Capital Campaign

Annual Report to Donors – Autumn 2023

A review of giving at Franciscan for 2022-23, with thanks to generous benefactors, alumni, and friends.

Autumn 2023

In This Article

Franciscan University is blessed by your generosity!

More than 6,700 strong, you—our amazing alumni, friends, and parents—contributed almost $12 million in financial gifts in our last fiscal year (ending May 31, 2023). We immediately put your gifts to work advancing our mission and rebuilding Christ’s Church. Donors earmarked gifts last year to the following Franciscan University priorities:


You, Franciscan’s generous supporters, are a nationwide and global community!

Franciscan University’s supporters comprise a nationwide and global community of more than 6,700 households. We are blessed to have donors in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia; U.S. Territories including Puerto Rico; and in more than 10 nations. The top 10 states for number of people supporting Franciscan University are:



New York






New Jersey


Franciscan is so grateful to our donors, whether you live in our own backyard, around the United States, or across the globe. Like our alumni, you are ambassadors for Franciscan’s mission of educating, transforming, and sending forth joyful disciples!


Giving Day 2023 shows big jump thanks to Franciscan donors!

Thanks to our generous supporters and ambassadors, Franciscan’s Giving Day on April 28, 2023, raised more than $600,000 in gift commitments, three times last year’s successful launch! Look for Giving Day 2024 next April for a chance to participate in a fun, interactive, online experience and make your gift to Franciscan count wherever you choose to designate it.

Faithful Franciscan Donors

Franciscan is profoundly blessed by our loyal supporters, who give year after year after year in extraordinary numbers. Many “Faithful Franciscans” have supported the University for a long time:

  • Some 207 benefactors have been contributing for more than 20 years, with some contributing as long as 45 years!
  • Nearly 800 friends and alumni have given for 10 years or more.
  • 1,744 donors have given for at least 5 consecutive years.

Your consistent and loyal support has made Franciscan’s longterm growth and success possible. Thank you!


Franciscan Fire Sustaining Donors

Among our loyal donors, the number who have chosen to enroll in the Franciscan Fire monthly donor program continues to increase. Your faithful and consistent support makes a growing impact throughout the University each and every year.


Your Gifts in Action:

Scholarships Grow Dramatically

With the ongoing success of Franciscan’s 75th Anniversary Rebuild My Church Campaign, many generous friends, alumni, and parents have provided significant new scholarship gifts, which have allowed the University to award more scholarship dollars to more students than ever before.


Thanks to you, nearly 800 Franciscan students, a 24 percent increase over the previous year, earned a donor-funded scholarship with an average value of $3,123.

Celine Najm

Class of 2025

Cleveland, Ohio

Celine Najm expected Franciscan University to be a place where she would connect more deeply with her Catholic faith. But she didn’t expect it to be a place where she would reconnect with the Maronite tradition into which she was baptized.

The daughter of two Lebanese immigrants, Celine grew up in the Maronite rite but lost touch with it after getting involved in the Roman Catholic community. Then, during her freshman year at Franciscan, she was asked to sing for a Maronite liturgy. That was when she began to fully appreciate the richness of the Eastern Catholic Church of her childhood.

“I felt God calling me home, to my home tradition,” she remembers. “I’m so grateful to be part of a campus community that welcomes the Eastern rite. Who would have thought I would reencounter my home spirituality through a very Roman Catholic campus?”

Now a junior, Celine organizes monthly Maronite liturgies on campus. This past summer, she also began leading bilingual praise and worship sessions, singing in both English and Arabic, for national Maronite conventions.

As a sacred music minor with a vocal concentration, Celine joined both the music ministry team and the chamber orchestra at Franciscan. In addition to playing seven instruments, Celine has a wide range of other interests, which, she says, have found a perfect fit in her major, communication arts with a multimedia concentration.

“I’m a musician, I love technology, I love art, and I have a passion for Catholic involvement in the political sphere,” she explains. “I was able to really thrive in all my interests within the Communication Arts Program, so I took it on very passionately.”

In her sophomore year, Celine was awarded the Pam Godfrey Scholarship from the Cleveland Association of Broadcassters and the Higginbotham Leadership Scholarship through Franciscan’s Center for Leadership Program. She was also elected vice president of the Franciscan University Student Government.

Celine is grateful to the donors who have enabled her to be the first person in her family to attend college.

“I’m a first-generation college student,” she says. “And I’ve been able to grow in so many ways because of the generosity of Franciscan’s donors. Thank you!”


Benjamin, Meredith, and Samuel Sobol

Class of 2026

Farmington, New Mexico

Growing up as triplets, Benjamin, Meredith, and Samuel Sobol had a lot of shared experiences. They all played tennis; they all went to Steubenville of the Rockies youth conferences; and they all attended the same elementary, middle, and high school. When it came time to choose a college, though, it looked like their paths might diverge. Ben wanted to study mechanical engineering; Meredith wanted to study biology; and Samuel wanted to study nursing. With such different interests, no one knew whether they would end up at the same school.

One thing the triplets did know was that whatever school they chose had to be affordable. They didn’t expect to be able to go out-of-state because they had three older siblings already in college. Still, their parents brought them to visit Franciscan University. According to Meredith, that visit “sealed the deal.”

“We all wanted to be somewhere we could foster our own academic careers in the best way,” remembers Meredith. “At the same time, we all wanted to be somewhere faith was an important thing.”

Their parents also loved the school and decided to make extra sacrifices to send their children to Franciscan. Those sacrifices, plus the University’s financial aid, made attending Franciscan possible for the Sobol triplets. And then, individually, they decided it was where they most wanted to be.

When they arrived on campus their freshman year, the triplets hit the ground running. Ben and Sam joined the men’s tennis team, while Meredith played intramural sports. Sam spent his spring break on a medical mission trip to Ecuador and loved it. Meredith spent her summer doing research for the Biology Department’s Bioinformatics Certificate Program.

“It’s been really amazing to study science here,” Meredith says. “All the professors I’ve had integrate faith and science so well.”

As Ben and Sam head to Austria this fall, the triplets are embarking on their sophomore year with grace—and gratitude.

“The people who contribute to the University make it possible for us to come here,” says Meredith. “We appreciate them so much!”



Thank You!

When you give to Franciscan University, you are truly partners in bringing our mission to life. Our students are educated and formed and our alumni live out their calling all over the world, thanks to your generous support. On behalf of our entire Franciscan community—students, staff, faculty, friars, and alumni—we offer you our enduring gratitude and prayers. May God bless and watch over you.

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