Whether it’s through one transformational gift or through the combined efforts of the hundreds who contribute to the SMC Fund each year, gifts to Saint Mary’s positively change the College forever. During the 2010–11 fiscal year, Saint Mary’s raised $39 million, breaking all previous fundraising records.
Much of the money was given to support capital projects that will have a lasting impact on campus. Construction began on one of them in July — a new baseball field, which is scheduled to be completed in February 2012 and marks the first phase of the new $30 million Athletics and Recreation Corridor. The corridor project’s centerpiece, the Joseph L. Alioto Recreation Center, will include a fitness center, swimming pool, climbing wall and three full-sized courts and is expected to be operational in fall 2013.
A 1,500-seat baseball stadium will continue to enhance a sport that was the college’s first intercollegiate sport in 1889 and produced 62 major league baseball players.
“Individual wellness, personal growth and a healthy body, mind and spirit all play a critical role in Saint Mary’s College education. The Athletics and Recreation Corridor will serve as a key component of the overall educational experience,” says Mark Orr, director of athletics and recreational sports.
A second capital project transformed the Hearst Art Gallery into the Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art, which opened in September with two new galleries and 50 percent more space than before. The additional space allows the College to display more selections from its collection of 4,500 works of art, including the museum’s William Keith Collection of 180 paintings by the 19th century California landscape painter.
The new museum now more than ever will be, as Carrie Brewster, director of the Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art, says, “a significant and diverse resource for visual arts and lifelong learning for our Saint Mary’s College community, the greater Bay Area communities and beyond.”