TERRE HAUTE - The president of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology says non-alums and corporate partners will be key to the success of a $250 million fundraising campaign, which kicked off its public phase today. Jim Conwell says companies around the world need workers who can adapt to industry changes "we can't even begin to predict," and says The Mission Driven Campaign for Rose-Hulman will help put the faculty and facilities in place to produce those students. The school says the largest portion of the funds raised will go toward student scholarships and financial aid.

Rose-Hulman says it has already brought in about $165 million through the private phase of the campaign. In addition to $100 million for student scholarships and financial aid, the campaign looks to raise $85 million for new educational approaches and technologies, $50 million for new spaces to expand networking and learning and $15 million for faculty support and collaborative academic programs.

Conwell says, while much of the support so far has come from alums, and he expects that to continue, non-alums and corporate partners have also given support because they value what Rose-Hulman contributes to their workforce. As an example, he says more than 250 companies came to the campus last week for a career fair. Conwell says most of them are "global, large companies" with some making job offers on-site.

One of the campaign's lead gifts did come from an alum: Michael Mussallem and his wife Linda contributed $9 million to renovate the school's student union, which was dedicated in May. An anonymous donor committed $15 million for the institute's new academic building. Officials broke ground on the $29 million project, the first new academic building on campus in 20 years, on Friday. Construction is expected to be complete ahead of the 2021-2022 academic year.