June 13, 2012
Pete and Suzy Shields of Boyne City, MI, long-time friends and benefactors of the University, made a $1 million gift in support of the University’s capital projects.
Saint Francis University is pleased to announce the receipt of a $1 million gift in support of The Capital Campaign: Called to Serve...Fulfilling the Promise
Pete and Suzy Shields of Boyne City, MI, long-time friends and benefactors of the University, made the gift in support of the University’s capital projects. Mr. Shields, an Ebensburg native, is chairman of the board of Flat Rock Metal, Inc., a high quality niche steel processor specializing in critical surface sheet and coil processing, located in Flat Rock, MI. The company is the largest sheet polisher of carbon steel in North America.
"We chose to make this gift to help enhance the mission of Catholic, Franciscan higher education at Saint Francis University, and to honor my parents, who shared the University's steadfast values of faith and family," Mr. Shields said. His father, Ferdinand, graduated from Saint Francis in 1928. He is one of only four alumni to be inducted into the SFU Athletics Hall of Fame and to be named a Distinguished Alumnus by the University. Shields' mother, Frances, was an assistant professor of education at Saint Francis from 1961-70.
"We are so thankful for this generous gift from Pete and Suzy. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful outpouring of support for the most ambitious Capital Campaign in our University’s history. Through this campaign we are raising much needed funding for new and upgraded facilities, yet this effort is about much more than buildings,” explains University President, the Rev. Gabriel J. Zeis, T.O.R. "This is an opportunity to transform the way we educate our students through research, service and collaboration.”
In appreciation for the Shields’ commitment, the University will name the first floor of the new Science Center the Ferdinand and Frances (Little) Shields Center for Biology, in memory of Pete’s parents. In addition, the Little Family will be honored with a plaque in the genetics laboratory situated on the same floor.
The goal of the University’s Capital Campaign is the construction/renovation of four major campus academic facilities. The DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness was completed in April 2009. Already under construction, the 70,000 square foot Science Center will become the new home to the School of Sciences. The complete restoration of Schwab Hall and Sullivan Hall, which will house the School of Business and School of Health Sciences, respectively, is also planned. Projected total costs are $45 million.
Founded in 1847, Saint Francis University is the oldest Franciscan institution of higher learning in the country, and one the oldest Catholic colleges in the nation.