Bridges to the Future Campaign Nears $100 Million Goal

With a shiny, newly renovated campus and more building blessings and dedications on the way, Chaminade’s $100 million “Bridges to the Future” comprehensive campaign has gathered serious momentum — some $95 million, in fact.

With just eight months left to reach the total, the University is reaching out to alumni, friends and the community at large to join forces and propel the campaign successfully past its finish mark.

Bro. Bernard J. Ploeger, S.M., will complete his tenure as president in June. However, that has not slowed down the pace of fundraising in the least. “Meeting with the generous Chaminade donors who, one by one, have agreed to help us achieve our goals has been gratifying and rewarding for me personally,” he said.

After the initial launch in July of 2008, tremendous early campaign support came from the Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and the US Department of Education’s Title III (for Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions).

In recent years, however, alumni and board members have quietly stepped up, as have local organizations. In the past year alone, a $5.4 million grant from the Kamehameha Schools for the Ho’oulu STEM scholarships and another $1 million from the Alaka`ina Foundation through Chaminade University Board of Regents chair Vaughn G. A. Vasconcellos have moved the university into striking range of its goal.

“Chaminade’s story is an unparalleled ‘Little College That Could’ story,” said Vasconcellos, recalling the famous basketball upset when Chaminade defeated top-ranked Virginia in 1982. In the mid-1990s, newly appointed President Mary Civille “Sue” Wesselkamper, D. S.W. brought on Ploeger and, with the help of the Marianists and the Catholic religious community which sponsor Chaminade, ushered in an era of growth and transformation.

Last year, Chaminade celebrated six decades of educating students for “life, service and successful careers” and looks forward to welcoming a new president in August. Dr. Lynn Babington will be the third woman to head a university in the state.

On hand for the campus salute to the outgoing president, Babington congratulated Ploeger and the team for their efforts related to the Bridges to the Future campaign. “Chaminade represents a beacon in the higher education realm due to its remarkable achievements with the under-served, particularly the Native Hawaiian community. I congratulate Bro. Bernie on the tremendous success of the campaign to date and look forward to joining efforts to surpass our overall goal.”

The campaign focuses on four critical areas: (1) ensuring student access and support (via new scholarships, for example); (2) advancing academic programs (such as recent grants to renew Chaminade’s pedagogy); (3) building a richer campus life (through the renovation of the Clarence T.C. Ching Hall and other facilities); and (4) renewing Chaminade’s athletics tradition. Gifts and grants in this latter area have enabled the renovation of the campus tennis courts as well as the construction of new coaches’ offices dedicated this year and a locker room and training facility to open in fall 2018.


For more information or to contribute to Chaminade’s Bridges to the Future campaign, interested individuals should contact Diane Peters-Nguyen, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at or 808.735-4772.