YSU Foundation embarks on biggest fundraiser in school history

The Youngstown State University Foundation announced its "We See Tomorrow" fundraising campaign on Thursday

Youngstown State University welcomed 2,125 freshmen on Wednesday.
Youngstown State University welcomed 2,125 freshmen on Wednesday.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Thursday, Youngstown State University announced a major campaign — “We See Tomorrow” — to bring even more to the campus and city. It’s trying to raise $100 million, making this the biggest fundraising campaign in YSU’s history.

If you’ve been on YSU’s campus over the past ten years, a lot has changed. Even within the last year, several major projects have reshaped the face of YSU.

“There’s a buzz here, there’s a vibe. People really feel that things are changing, things are new. Look at the student housing, look at the beautification,” said Jocelyne Kollay Linsalata, chair of the YSU Foundation.

That excitement surrounding campus has convinced the YSU Foundation that now is the best time to raise the money. Though the Foundation made the We See Tomorrow campaign public on Thursday, it’s already raised $51.7 million.

The Mahoning Valley Innovative Center on Commerce Street and Student Success Center to be built between Jones Hall and Maag Library will be the biggest structural changes driven by the funding.

“Innovation is a logical one for Youngstown. We’ve gone from basic and heavy industry to moving through technology, and our students prepared in every way,” Linsalata said.

Some of the money will be used toward scholarships and work opportunities, campus beautification, the Rich Center for Autism, and YSU’s Annual Fund.

Complete breakdown of the funding:

Student Success Center, $12 million
Tentatively planned for Jones Hall and Maag Library. With an enclosed pedestrian bridge linking the two buildings, the Student Success Center will bring together an array of services, such as tutorial services, academic advising, career services, health services, counseling services, reading and study skills lab, to name a few, into one location.

Mahoning Valley Innovation and Commercialization Center, $14 million
The new center, located in a former county building at the corner of Fifth and Commerce, is designed to foster cross-collaborative interdisciplinary projects between STEM, business, health care, the arts, and other fields. The center will be affiliated with and expand the partnership with the Youngstown Business Incubator. It will also expand on YSU’s programs in additive manufacturing research and education.

Scholarships and Student Work Opportunities, $20 million
In order to increase the recruitment of students with excellent academic backgrounds and demonstrated leadership potential, the university will need additional scholarships. Also, embracing the heritage of hard work and discipline exemplified by YSU alumni, scholarships to support student work will, for the first time, be pursued in the campaign.

Endowed Chairs and Professorships, $15 million
Advancing excellence begins with an investment in faculty. Therefore, the campaign includes opportunities to establish endowed chairs and professorships, enabling YSU to recruit and retain the best faculty in every discipline.

Campus Beautification, $10 million
Among the planned campus beautification enhancements are the rejuvenation of the Wick Avenue corridor, as well as the improvement of the Lincoln and Fifth avenue corridors. In addition, the recreation area just north of Kilcawley Center will receive a much-needed facelift that will likely include a café or other student-use amenities.

Classrooms of the Future, $5 million
To provide YSU students the most advanced learning environments, the university plans to create classrooms of the future in each of YSU’s six colleges, equipped with state-of-the-art Cisco Spark Stations.

The Rich Center for Autism, $4 million
To meet increased demand for programming, this nationally-acclaimed center on the YSU campus will expand to include the second floor of Fedor Hall, doubling the square footage.

Annual Fund, $20 million
The YSU Annual Fund provides critical support to the university and every department. Never has the importance and impact of annual fund revenue been greater. Diminishing operating budgets placed an increased focus on annual philanthropic support for colleges and departments. Unrestricted funds provide flexible income to university officers, enabling them to seize new opportunities and undertake innovative programs that may not be possible with regularly budgeted funds. Other gifts that are designated to support programs and research also help to advance excellence across the campus.

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