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Beacon College Intramural Fitness Center capital campaign rendering
Beacon College Intramural & Fitness Center rendering

Beacon College has launched the $12 million capital campaign, “The Beacon Promise,” the largest fundraising campaign in the college’s 34-year history.

“The Beacon Promise” focuses on three priorities critical to providing a distinct learning environment for the institution’s growing neurodivergent student population.

According to research from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, students and families navigating learning differences and attention issues — autism, ADHD, dyslexia and more — often struggle to find the educational resources necessary to fit their needs. For years, these students and families have faced broken promises, many of which go unkept due to an overburdened primary, secondary or higher education system lacking the commitment to a more focused, supportive and individualized approach to education.

At Beacon, students find a nationally recognized undergraduate experience that is tailored to them, committed to changing that stigma, and transforming young lives. As the institution hit its target number for enrollment – welcoming a record 500 students in fall 2022 – the college needed to evolve and take steps toward maintaining its promise to be a safe place where neurodivergent students can discover the joy of learning, make good friends, develop self-confidence and gain a vision for their future, administrators said.

“At Beacon College, we are rooted in our sense of purpose, place and devotion to holistically embrace neurodivergent students and best prepare them for success in all forms,” said Dr. George J. Hagerty, president of Beacon College. “That starts with every member of our faculty, learning specialists, community educators and staff, and their fidelity to our mission. That commitment, and the way that it is lived daily on our campus, is the inspiration for ‘The Beacon Promise.’”

To elevate the student experience, “The Beacon Promise” targets three key elements:

  1. Construction of an $8.5 million, 28,000-square-foot Intramural & Fitness Center. This will include two university-regulation basketball courts, a fitness center, a one-tenth mile running track, dedicated space to host social gatherings and club meetings, and more. While physical activity is important for all, it is especially important for neurodivergent student population. For students with learning differences, fitness routines, exercise and participation in group sports are critical for fostering and promoting self-confidence, focus, mental health, discipline and social development. With the capacity to accommodate up to 1,000 people, the Intramural & Fitness Center will also serve as the go-to location for campus events like commencement, community celebrations and Parents Weekend.
  2. Establishment of a $2 million scholarship endowment, aimed at helping Beacon’s most in-need students pay for their education. Ninety percent of Beacon students receive some form of financial aid — many due to the significant financial investments their families were forced to make during their K-12 years on specialists, counseling and supplementary services to compensate for inadequate resources in elementary and secondary education systems.
  3. Dedication of $1.5 million for academic enhancements to complete Beacon’s Academic Mall and expand its footprint in downtown Leesburg. Beacon faculty teach differently because their students learn differently. Additional instructional spaces to maintain small classroom sizes is an essential part of ensuring students are engaged in Beacon’s individualized learning experience.

The goal, Hagerty said, is ensuring the college will be able maintain its promise to embrace young people with learning differences and set them on a course to pursue worthy work and an abundant life.

“A gift to the campaign is a selfless act,” said Hagerty. “Many of our students have only known second. We want them in their undergraduate years to have first and, in so doing, we want them to have the best possible academic program and best facilities. We want them to have a true community. And we want them to be prepared to go out, be independent, and participate in worthy work.”

To learn more about “The Beacon Promise” and how to give, visit www.beaconpromise.com.