Saint Martin’s University to receive landmark gift

January 14, 2008

Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University announced today that it will receive the second largest single gift from a living individual in the institution’s history. H.C. “Joe” Harned, a friend of the University, is donating an undisclosed amount in support of the school’s $5.5 million A Winning Spirit Campaign. Saint Martin’s President Douglas M. Astolfi, Ph. D., joined by Board of Trustees Chair Ken Parsons and Vice Chair Rick Panowicz, accepted Harned’s signed commitment late Monday morning.

In recognition of Harned’s support, the University will name its future 20,000 square-foot academic building H.C. “Joe” Harned Hall. Slated for completion this year, Harned Hall will house eight multi-functional classrooms, a large computer lab, an electrical engineering lab, a small team room equipped with computers for engineering students, an amphitheater-style lecture hall, a student lounge and a café. The additional classroom space will support the University’s strategic plan to grow its main campus enrollment and allow Saint Martin’s to renovate older classrooms in Old Main. Groundbreaking for Harned Hall will take place Feb. 7 in conjunction with the University’s Board of Trustees meeting.

“A close family member graduated from Saint Martin’s University,” said Harned, after signing his pledge. “I am a firm believer in furthering education. My many years of living on this planet have convinced me that the human mind needs training to recognize, process and respond to the critical incidents that humans encounter. The new buildings on campus will provide the platform for a quality education for the young minds that come here seeking knowledge and guidance in their lifetime. I am very grateful for this opportunity to share in such a noble endeavor.”

The University launched A Winning Spirit Campaign in 2006 to construct a student recreation and fitness center, track and field complex, and soccer fields. These projects will provide Saint Martin’s students with modern, on-campus recreation and fitness facilities. Harned’s gift is the lead contribution to the campaign to date and brings the total amount committed to $3.6 million, nearly two-thirds of the $5.5 million goal.

“We are deeply grateful for Joe’s generosity,” said Astolfi. “His contribution will have a profound impact on the current and future generations of Saint Martin’s students and will stand as an example of philanthropy for all the members of our community. It is fitting that Joe’s name should be on a building that will improve our academic programs and enhance campus life for years to come.”

Parsons added, “Joe’s commitment to growth at Saint Martin’s is remarkable. By helping make new facilities and resources available to the University community, he supports SMU’s work to educate students and cultivate leaders of tomorrow.”

Harned is a successful commercial real estate developer in the Tacoma area. A native of Pennsylvania, he put down roots in Tacoma after serving in the Navy during World War II. Harned has a history of philanthropic giving to students and institutions of higher education. He has contributed to other institutions in the area and recently created a scholarship fund for high school seniors from his hometown.

“It is remarkable that a man like Joe who served his country and worked hard all his life is able to leave such a wonderful legacy,” commented Panowicz. “He is a true example of ‘The Greatest Generation,’ and may the next generation take heed!”

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 320-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base, Olympic College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Jennifer Fellinger
Director of communications