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Pioneering the Way: Launching the Largest Fundraising Campaign in Massachusetts State University History

On May 6, 2023, Salem State University, in partnership with the Salem State University Alumni Association and Foundation, Inc., announced the public launch of Meet the Moment™, a $75 million comprehensive campaign combining deep investments in student success with the revitalization of Salem State’s campus.  

The transformational campaign is the largest in Massachusetts’ state university history and will position Salem State to holistically meet the needs of its students and the North Shore region today and for decades to come.  

“Members of our community on- and off-campus know that the future of this region, from the opportunities we offer to the vitality of the workforce and its civic leaders, rely on a strong Salem State. Our students go on to become the professionals that our region needs: teachers, scientists, nurses, business leaders, social workers, public servants, and more,” said President John D. Keenan. “We put students first in every decision and dollar we invest in Salem State, and our campaign priorities demonstrate that commitment.”  

About 400 students, alumni, donors, and community members came together to learn more about the goals of Meet the Moment™ at the highly-anticipated launch event. An immersive 180-degree screen enveloped a captivated audience inside the O’Keefe Sports Complex where community members shared stories of impact and persistence. At the end of the speaking program, a dramatic Kabuki drop revealed a series of interactive booths highlighting the various funding priorities of the campaign. Guests mixed and mingled among students, faculty and staff who enthusiastically touted their work. From elaborate costume displays by the theatre and speech communication department to a recreated Esports lounge, the university’s programs and initiatives were on full display.  

“Salem State faculty and staff go to great lengths to support students, and we’ve seen extraordinary collaboration across campus in establishing the campaign’s priorities and funding opportunities,” said Ryan Fisher, professor of biology and member of the campaign steering committee. “The philanthropic support we receive through Meet the Moment™ builds on our academic strength and provides opportunities for research, critical resources and equipment that help to aid our scholarly work.”  

At the close of the speaking program, President John D. Keenan proudly announced that the university is already more than 50 percent of the way to its $75 million fundraising goal, having raised over $40 million to date.  

“Building partnerships in support of this campaign has shown us just how much enthusiasm there is in our community for Salem State’s mission,” said Cheryl Webster, executive director of the Salem State University Alumni Association and Foundation, Inc. and vice president of advancement. “Salem State is fueling the workforce of the North Shore, and we take great pride in our commitment to engage and support any student who has aspirations of receiving a higher education degree. We know they will go on to do great things for our community and strengthen the region as a result.”  

Alumni Relations
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