Ground Breaking Set for $17.9 Million Academic Center

Published: Monday, May 10, 2010


President of Benedictine College Stephen D. Minnis has announced that the school will break ground on its new $17.9 million Academic Center at its Atchison, Kan., campus this June.


The building project is part of the $50 million Investing in Excellence Campaign, of which $43 million has already been raised.  Most of that money has gone to increase the college's endowment, with $11 million dedicated to the building.


“The Board of Directors of Benedictine College, adopting our theme of ‘Forward, always forward,’ made a leap of faith,” Minnis said. “They believe our generous and committed donors will step forward as the economy begins to turn around.”


The school still needs to raise $6.9 million to pay for the completion of the building, but by starting in June, administrators hope to take advantage of historically low construction costs.


“This building will be a permanent way of demonstrating Benedictine College’s commitment to community, faith and scholarship,” said Minnis.


This will be the first LEED-certified building (green) on a college or university campus in the state of Kansas.  It will provide:


  • A major upgrade for the School of Business and the Education Department, which encompass the college's most popular majors.
  • The most state-of-the-art facilities in the nation for the Theology and Philosophy Departments.
  • A focal point for the whole campus, and the larger Benedictine and Atchison communities, from its perch overlooking the Missouri river.


“When we made our theme ‘Forward, always forward’ this school year, we didn’t know just how far the Benedictine College community would take that,” said Minnis. “But this year has already seen historic events on campus: We received the $3.3 million gift of Atchison Hospital, the second largest single gift to the college in our history; we received the first ever visit by a cardinal, who gave an important lecture on campus; and now we are seeking help to finish the largest capital campaign we have ever undergone.”


Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report for the past three years as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.