The Bridge - 81.1 million and counting for future generations

Capital campaign reaches surpasses its goal

We did it! The Messiah community gave generously by exceeding our $75 million goal and raising a historic amount of support that will impact future generations of students. This milestone was celebrated with a dinner and two concerts by Christian music artist Michael W. Smith. We deeply believe the world needs Messiah graduates now more than ever. By raising additional funds, we will be able to continue assisting students with scholarship aid and other significant resources as they prepare to transform the world in the service of God’s Kingdom.

We are honored that you are here with us this evening as we thank our donors for their support and honor our Lord for His faithful provision over our 113-year history. On behalf of my colleagues on the board and the leadership of Messiah University, thank you. We would not be able to celebrate this evening without your generosity.”

— Craig Sider, chair, Board of Trustees of Messiah University

What’s next for Messiah?

$81.1 million and counting for future generations

Sharing the success of the Campaign for Messiah University Oct. 15 was so gratifying. Knowing we exceeded the $75 million goal was a highlight of my 22-year tenure at Messiah. Our team remains focused on three key priorities:

The Messiah Fund provides support for the University’s annual budget by giving scholarship aid to all students as well as funding for campus improvements, student-faculty research, and service and missions trips.

Scholarship Endowment provides additional resources for families to ensure a Christ-centered Messiah education remains affordable. Over the course of the campaign, we generated an additional $10 million in scholarship endowment support, providing $500,000 in new annual scholarships. We seek to continue this trajectory to help even more students through expanded scholarship support.


Engle Health and Counseling Center Expansion – Named for Messiah Trustee and his wife, “Doc” Harold and Mary Elizabeth Engle, the Engle Center provides physical and mental health care to our community. In the last three years, there has been a 200-300% increase in student clinic visits, necessitating this expansion. Co-chairs are Drs. Joe and Nancy Huerter along with Drs. Emerson ’74 and Ruth Lesher, whom you can read about below. We seek to reach a $750,000 fundraising goal in time to break ground in the spring and open by fall 2023. Read more at  

Resurface of Indoor Track - A key part of training for the track and field teams is the indoor track on the upper level of the Hitchcock Arena in the Sollenberger Sports Center. Installed in 1985, the track is worn and compressed after 37 years of use. It is also damaging to the athletes’ bodies. A new surface ensures fewer injuries. For information, email

Sustained acts of generosity have nurtured and supported our mission for our 113-year history. Our institution was founded by an act of generosity. S.R. Smith donated the land that launched what would become Messiah University. Beyond our gratitude for those who have invested, we remain thankful for the Lord’s faithful provision and for a bright future for Messiah University.

— Jon C. Stuckey, VP for development, campaign director

"We are so grateful to you for the success of this important effort. Christ-centered education that prepares student leaders is needed now than ever. The world needs Messiah graduates who have learned to bring together complex and diverse ideas, concepts and people. A Messiah education challenges and stretches our students be faith-filled Christians and critical thinkers who learn to see the world in a deeper way as they develop a discerning spirit in all that they do. Thank you for your role in fulfilling our institutional mission. May God continue to be glorified in all we do!”

— President Kim S. Phipps

Donor profiles:

Joe and Nancy Huerter, co-chairs, Engle Center expansion

Joe and Nancy Huerter are parents of graduate Michael Huerter ’14. In addition to Joe serving as a Trustee, the Huerters have many Messiah connections through their active involvement in the Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church. Joe is a retired radiologist and Nancy is a former child psychiatrist. We are grateful to the Leshers and the Huerters for their willingness to lend their expertise in both the medical and mental health professions to co-lead our fundraising efforts to complete the needed and timely expansion to the Engle Health and Counseling Center.

Emerson and Ruth Lesher, co-chairs, Engle Center expansion

In addition to being an alum himself and former Trustee, Emerson ’74 Lesher and his wife Ruth are parents-in-law of Rachel Moffett Lesher ’09. Perhaps most interesting is that as a child, Emerson lived in what is now the Engle Health and Counseling Center when his father, James Lesher ’58, returned to Messiah to finish his degree! Emerson has had a distinguished career in gerontology and the aging field, including serving as CEO of Messiah (Village) Lifeways. Ruth has spent her career as a counselor and mental health advocate.