RENSSELAER, Ind. (WLFI) — After hearing devastating news that Saint Joseph’s College would be closing it’s doors, alumni are coming together in an effort to keep their alma mater open.
“It didn’t have to happen this way, and that’s what we’re setting out to prove,” said Jackie Bradway, a member of the Saint Joseph’s College Alumni Association Board of Directors.
The college will temporarily close its Rensselaer campus in May.
“We knew that we couldn’t just sit by and allow that to happen,” Bradway said.
The alumni association is starting a fundraiser to raise $20 million by April 1. The amount is needed before June 1 to keep the campus from the temporary shutdown.
“We promoted through a Facebook page, called involved for life and we are moving this week into reaching out to alumni [who are] not on social media,” Bradway said.
Through emails, phone calls and letters, $200,000 has been donated so far.
“We are thrilled at how well it’s been received by the community,” Bradway said.
She says if the goal is met, the money will be given to the college after changes in leadership.
If the goal is not reached or there is no change in leadership, donors will receive their money back after May 1.
Bradway says the goal is aggressive, but the fundraising is just the beginning.
“We need to get interim people in place to lead Saint Joe’s,” she said. “We need to reverse that decision. We still have to deal with the HLC’s probation for accreditation.”
After talking to members of the community and other alumni, Bradway says the goal of students returning to class in the fall is possible.
“Saint Joseph’s college is home to me, as it is to many alumni,” Bradway said. “I just couldn’t stand by as an alum and allow the board to make this decision without giving it a try.”