Redefining the Classroom

Donor group issues challenge to bring home South Hall project

Posted: December 8th, 2013

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – An anonymous donor group has provided a boost to the Lake Superior State University Foundation’s fundraising efforts in support of a renovated South Hall classroom building. With the “Bring It Home Challenge Fund,” the group has pledged to match donations made by alumni and friends of the university by April 1, 2014.

The establishment of this challenge grant by a donor is the largest ever for the university, according to Tom Coates, executive director of the LSSU Foundation. In anticipation of meeting the challenge and surpassing the established goal, and in recognition of other significant gifts to several recent LSSU initiatives, a major naming opportunity for the building project will be involved.

The LSSU Foundation launched the South Hall Opportunity, a $3 million capital campaign, in October 2011 at the request of the LSSU Board of Trustees. The project will modernize one of LSSU’s historic Fort Brady-1900s era buildings to provide a home for the new Lukenda School of Business. The business school naming, in honor of alumnus Louis B. Lukenda DDS of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was announced in February 2013.

Donations to the South Hall Renovation Project received by April 1, 2014 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the donor group. Should this effort be successful, the LSSU Foundation will have exceeded its goal of raising $3 million, which is the university’s required portion of the $12 million total project cost. The State of Michigan is providing the remaining $9 million through the capital outlay project commitment formally approved by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder in July 2013.

"This outstanding act of philanthropic leadership comes at a key time for the LSSU Foundation,” said Coates. “In some campaigns, the final third of the fundraising goal is the most difficult to attain. The Bring It Home Challenge Fund provides an opportunity for LSSU alumni and friends of the university to essentially double their support.”

“It has been humbling to have so many donors make stretch gifts in support of the South Hall project.” said Coates. “Now to have a group make this type of commitment should motivate others to help us bring this project home and reach our goal.”

To find out more about the South Hall project and Bring It Home Challenge Fund, including how you may help meet the challenge with a matched gift of support, contact the LSSU Foundation at 906-635-2665 or Visit the South Hall Opportunity web page at -LSSU-

SOUTH HALL INSPECTION – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder took time out from a visit to campus in August to take in a quick briefing on LSSU's South Hall renovation project. Joining him were State Representative Frank Foster and State Senator Howard Walker. Gov. Snyder approved the $12 million construction project earlier this year, with the state investing $9 million and LSSU securing private donations for the remaining $3 million. A recent challenge from a donor group will see donations through April 1, 2014 matched dollar-for-dollar. The renovation includes much needed infrastructure upgrades, as well as classroom and office renovations. Shown here in front of South Hall with elevation renderings are, from left, LSSU President Tony McLain, Gov. Snyder, Sen. Walker, and Rep. Foster. (LSSU/John Shibley)

A print-resolution photo that runs with this caption can be found by clicking here.

CONTACT: Tom Pink, 906-635-2315,; John Shibley, 635-2314,; Tom Coates, 635-6670,