Fundraising was a success for Canadian Mennonite University's (CMU) Marpeck Commons, library, learning commons, and bridge.

"The great news for CMU right now is that the CONNECT Capital Campaign, with a goal of $14.4 million for the building of Marpeck Commons has been achieved," said Dr. Cheryl Pauls, CMU President.

The goal was reached through gifts and commitments, two-thirds of which came from Manitoba donors.

"We are most grateful to the 900 units, whether that means individuals or families, family foundations, and churches, that have contributed to make that goal something that we have now reached," Pauls said.

"We're grateful also to the capital campaign cabinet, under the leadership of Elmer Hildebrand, a cabinet of 9 that worked with us with their own generosity, and also in encouraging many others to become part of this exciting venture," she added.

The other one-third of donations came from across Canada and the U.S.

"CMU continues to have a national presence, with connections internationally," Pauls explained.

The plans for Marpeck Commons have been in the works since 2009.

Donors are honoured on an image of a Russian Oak tree, where names are engraved. Bridge tiles could also be purchased by alumni and supporters of CMU.

"With that, we're able to tell the story of alumni, of CMU and it's predecessor collages over time, going back to alumni from the 40's," said Pauls.

Alumni and supporters purchased a total of 459 engraved bridge tiles.

Pauls said it shows how people connected to CMU trust the university with its mission, students, and activities.

She added it has enhanced campus life more than she expected.

"As Marpeck Commons opened we all knew it would be a good thing, but we had no idea just how welcome and how deeply it would be cherished. It is the hub of the campus" she said.

Not only does the building bring together staff, students, and faculty, but it also attracts local community members and tourists from outside of Winnipeg.

People can meet for coffee, visit CommonWord, the bookstore and resource centre, and attend public events.

"It's just a really open, beautiful, what some people have called an 'understated elegance'," said Pauls. "People can feel the warmth of light because of a glass wall on the north side."

The space also encourages students to network and be part of a community.

"They want to spend longer sitting and reading or studying, or visiting with others," said Pauls.

"It's created a hub that is always busy, and that I would say always has people in a generally more calm, content and joyous mood than I often encounter in sort of public spaces."

The entire project and construction cost was made possible through gifts from 900 people. Pauls noted that students will not have to contribute to the costs in any way, such as tuition or fees.

Pauls added Marpeck Commons is open to the public and encourages people to come visit.