(Editor's note: Montana State University-Northern press release)
HAVRE -- Montana State University-Northern announced it has received a total of $2,176,950 in support for a new on-campus sports complex after launching fundraising efforts last January. The estimated cost of the first phase of the project is $3 million, leaving just 26.6 percent, $823,050, before construction begins.
On Saturday, the Foundation announced its largest single gift to date. Frances Baltrusch of Havre contributed $500,000 to the effort, making her gift one of the largest from an individual supporter in MSU-Northern’s 90-year history.
“Nearly 100 percent of these gifts have come from Montana’s Hi-Line, so the grassroots, community-level support for this effort has been incredible,” said MSU-Northern Chancellor Greg Kegel. “Successful athletic programs are a major factor in a student’s college choice.”
“When this project comes to fruition, the sports complex will enhance much more than our football program,” said Kegel. “We will bring people together in a community center for events of all kinds: space dedicated to athletic conditioning, and classroom space for Health and Human Performance courses. All of this activity will contribute to the long-term health of our campus.”
“These facilities will allow us to expand our health programs, increase our student engagement and activities on campus, and enhance our ability to recruit students,” said Provost Neil Moisey. “All of this will lead to more students graduating and contributing to the economy of the Hi-Line and Montana.”
MSU-Northern hopes to raise the balance of the funds needed by early spring 2020 to allow for construction to be completed before the 2020 season.
“Donor support comes from those who have a meaningful relationship with our university and north central Montana,” said Shantel Cronk, executive director of the MSU-Northern Foundation. “Part of the collegiate experience is campus life and we want to MSUN students, and those we are trying to recruit, to feel that unique lifestyle. The new stadium will draw more students, alumni and community members to campus.”
The Foundation is now asking for alumni and supporters to help close out the project with contributions and pledges.
Thanks to Independence Bank, pledges will help with construction costs since the bank is loaning the value of all pledges made to Northern Alumni Foundation at zero-interest. This means anyone can pledge any amount and the Foundation will immediately receive the full pledge value from the bank to complete construction. The offer applies to all pledges made for up to 5 years.
Kegel says the recent fundraising success is motivating, but now the clock is ticking to get phase one completed and built by next season.
“We need the support of friends of Northern in the Havre community and beyond to help to get there,” said Kegel. “Together, we’ll get the stadium built and set MSU-Northern on a firm footing for ongoing future success.”