The University of Southern Indiana announced the public phase of Campaign USI: Elevating Excellence, a $50 million capital campaign, on Thursday evening.
Before “A Conversation with T. Boone Pickens,” held in Carter Hall, USI President Linda L. M. Bennett announced the campaign and a $5 million leadership gift that Evansville business leaders and USI alumni Ron Romain ’73 and his wife Connie Romain ’74 are making to the campaign.
To honor the Romains for their lifetime of dedication, involvement, and generosity to the University and the Evansville community, the USI College of Business will be named the Romain College of Business. The Romain College of Business is physically housed in USI’s award-winning Business and Engineering Center.
“Ron and Connie Romain have served this community in so many ways,” Bennett said. “They are exemplary role models who have made countless efforts to better the region. We are extremely grateful for their leadership at every level of University life over many years.”
Part of the Romain’s gift will underwrite globally prominent entrepreneurs from the world of business to share their expertise and provoke thought and conversation among students, faculty, and the public while bringing recognition to USI. Pickens, a legendary oil and gas entrepreneur, energy expert, and philanthropist, was the inaugural speaker for the Romain College of Business.
“We have a lot to be thankful for,” said Ron Romain. “We’re very appreciative of what USI has done for us and we certainly want to give back as much as we can through this campaign, so that others have that same opportunity.”
Campaign USI: Elevating Excellence will support the University’s strategic goals and fund specific projects and programs in five areas:
“This is a wonderful opportunity – to ensure and expand the excellent, affordable, and accessible education offered to USI students. An investment in the University of Southern Indiana is an investment in our pursuit of excellence,” Bennett said.
This is only the second capital campaign in the University’s history. During the quiet phase, generous alumni and friends have already invested $26.7 million in gifts and commitments.
“My first gift to USI was $5,” said Ron Romain. “At the time, it was difficult to do, but it was something I felt good about. No one person will make this campaign successful. It must be a collective effort by many people in our community, in our region, and throughout the United States. Every gift matters.”
The campaign continues through 2015, when USI celebrates its 50th anniversary.
For more detailed information about Campaign USI: Elevating Excellence, go to www.usi.edu/campaign.
Photo Credit: USI Photography Services
Ron Romain talks about Campaign USI: Elevating Excellence before “A Conversation with T. Boone Pickens" on Thursday evening in Carter Hall.