BLUFFTON — Bluffton University kicked off a campaign to raise $14.5 million to build a science building on campus with an announcement of a large donation from two alumni.
Greg and Donna Wannemacher announced they would be giving a $1 million gift to the university as part of an effort to raise $14.5 million to build the Austin E. Knowlton Science Building. The Wannemachers made their announcement during a luncheon held on campus Wednesday to announce a comprehensive campaign to raise money for the university.
Greg is a 1977 graduate of Bluffton and was a football player at the university. His wife is a 1978 graduate. Greg Wannemacher is the chairman of Wannemacher Total Logistics in Lima.
“While many of you are familiar with my passion for Bluffton athletics, at the end of the day, Bluffton’s academic programs and faculty were crucial for achieving success in life and career,” Greg Wannemacher said. “Bluffton’s faculty and my academic coursework, in business and the liberal arts, instilled in me the ideals and values that helped me build my business to what it has become today. I am honored to be a part of a campaign that will provide Bluffton students and faculty with state-of-the-art science facilities and move Bluffton forward.”
The campaign is part of a comprehensive fundraising effort to raise $26 million for the university, including the new science building, $5.5 in annual support over the next five years, $5 million for the university’s endowment fund, $1 million to support new academic program development, faculty-student research and interdisciplinary initiatives that enrich learning in the natural and applied sciences.
“Each of our alumni are innovators driven by their faith,” said Bluffton University President James Harder. “This is innovation in its purest form. These are the values that have built this university.”
With the donation, the university has already raised $9 million of the $14.5 million for the new science building.
Alumni Dave Baumgartner, a member of the campaign committee, said the campaign is instrumental for helping the university remain a positive influence.
“My family has a long history with Bluffton with four generations,” Baumgartner said. “We want to help the university that has been inspiring in the past to be just as inspiring in the future.”
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter @LanceMihm.