Academy Campaign Continues to Generate Excitement
The Trust’s $16 million campaign to acquire and renovate the Academy building, and develop its seven acres of grounds, has created tremendous interest and excitement. In addition to support from our community, contributions have been made by donors from Alaska to California with an understanding of the significance of this property as key to Vancouver’s economic development; to preserve the region’s most historic and iconic structure; in recognition of the magnitude of Mother Joseph’s contributions to Washington State and the entire Northwest; because of a personal or spiritual connection to the site; or all of the above.
Among the groups that have embraced this campaign, we have been pleased to connect with Academy alumni, who are reaching out to their former classmates. Additionally, Providence Health and Systems, founded through the work of Mother Joseph and her fellow Sisters of Providence, have launched a campaign among their nearly 70,000 staff members.
Although we have been heartened by such response, there is real urgency in meeting our goal due to our unusually short timeframe. In order to guarantee the property so that the Trust could proceed with our effort, the Hidden brothers, who have been great stewards of the Academy for over 43-years, have generously agreed to keep the property off the market. We have through March 2013 to execute the purchase of $10.6 million. This is in addition to the Hiddens’ willingness to reduce their asking price for the Academy and its prime downtown location by $2.3 million because they are pleased that the Trust will continue to preserve and honor the legacy of this site. The balance of our campaign goal is to fund major building upgrades.
While the timeframe is short for such an undertaking, as our Campaign Chair, Ed Lynch, stated: “There is no thought of anything short of success. Mother Joseph faced unfathomable adversities in building twenty-nine hospitals, schools and orphanages throughout the Northwest in the forty-five years from her arrival at Fort Vancouver until her passing. We certainly must honor this achievement by securing the Academy, which was her first major building project, as well as her home.”