The University of St. Thomas publicly announced a $500 million capital campaign Wednesday. The institution is already more than halfway to its goal, helped by a $60 million gift -- the largest single donation for any Minnesota school.
The gift comes from Lee and Penny Anderson. Lee Anderson is CEO of APi Group, which grew from a small Minnesota insulation company into a $900 million group of businesses in construction and fire protection fields. He's also a St. Thomas Trustee.
Anderson says he and his wife have long considered making a gift to a higher education purpose.
"I am really impressed by coming here. These are students of good character," said Anderson. "Of course, the spirituality is important to Penny and I, and that's part of it as well."
Anderson's gift will go mainly for a new student center to be built on the St. Paul campus.
The university has listed more than 20 priorities for the campaign, in addition to the student center. The college will also dedicate at least $150 million toward an academic endowment to fund student scholarships and faculty positions.
St. Thomas has already received pledges worth $310 million toward its goal. That includes 22 gifts of $1 million or more.