By John Shumway

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LATROBE (KDKA) — What do Fred Rogers, Arnold Palmer, and the Rooney family have in common? Saint Vincent College (SVC) in Latrobe.

Steelers President and Saint Vincent College Board member Art Rooney II says, “My family’s connection with Saint Vincent goes back now more than a hundred years.”

So the SVC family, board, and benefactors came to the Rooneys’ North Shore home at Heinz Field on Friday to launch the public portion of an ambitious stepping out on faith campaign.

“[It’s] titled ‘Forward Always Forward,'” Rooney said. “Which is something we try to teach our running backs to pay attention to do.”

Prompting laughter in the midday crowd.

“Forward Always Forward” is a $100 million dollar campaign that has already been blessed by the Benedictine guiding principal of hospitality.

“The hospitality has been demonstrated because $67 million has already been committed to this campaign,” SVC board chairman J. Christopher Donahue said.

Saint Vincent’s Archabbot Douglas Nowicki says the campaign has already been fruitful.

“The James F. Will Hall for engineering and biomedical sciences is now open, and [there is] funding for several chairs and professorships,” he said.

Saint Vincent President Brother Norman Hipps expects the new hall will further enhance the success of the Sis and Herman Dupre Science Pavilion which opened in 2012.

“We’ve experienced growth in science students and faculty some 30 percent over these five years,” he said.

Next up for “Forward Always Forward” is the expansion of the Latimer Family Library starting next spring. The plan, according to Donahue, is to create a Library and Technology Information Hub.

“They’re going to make it a technology revolution on the campus,” he said.

As the campaign grows and the money comes in, so will the construction in the heart of the campus as a new generation dining hall, student center, community center, and a place for the arts. And all along the campaign will be funding an increase in endowed faculty positions and student scholarships and assistance. The campaign is targeting to culminate in the spring of 2020.

Donahue says every element of “Forward Always Forward” is focused on the SVC “hallmark is lifetime love of learning.”

Or as Br. Hipps put it, “We will keep SVC on a trajectory of excellence as we move ‘Forward Always Forward.’”

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