Pride in Action Campaign surpasses fundraising goal

Senior News Reporter

The Pride in Action Campaign ended Feb. 28 with the opening of the Performing Arts Center after raising a total of $151 million to fund various university initiatives.

The campaign began in 2006 with a goal of $110 million, said Barbara Breier, vice president of University Advancement. All of the collected funds will be put toward scholarships, endowed professorships and facility improvements, she said.

“The funds are all designated for specific priorities that were identified by the university at the beginning of the campaign,” Breier said.

Eighty-five percent of the raised funds have already been received and are at work on campus, Breier said. Of the amount raised, $24 million went to research for faculty and students, $31 million went to improve learning and athletic facilities, $38 million went toward student scholarships and $57 million went toward academic excellence-faculty and program endowments, Breier said.

There were 46,000 contributors to the campaign, including 19 donors who gave $1 million or more, 112 donors who gave $100,000 or more and 25 individuals who made “planned gifts” that will benefit the university in years to come, Breier said. Planned gifts are made through wills or various “deferred instruments,” she said.

Forty-five percent of faculty and staff contributed to the part of the campaign geared toward them, making it the highest percentage ever for the university, Breier said.

“I think, primarily, the reason it was much higher was that people sense the importance of supporting the university during this time of growth and opportunity,” Breier said. “I think they realized their dollars are being used wisely, and they go towards priorities that are important for the university, and they want to be a part of the growth of this exciting university and all of the students and faculty that are here.”

Breier said the campaign had a “lifespan of its own.” By ending the campaign with the dedication of the new Performing Arts Center, donors could see how their dollars are being spent, Breier said. The campaign was set to end sometime this year, and the opening was a “great opportunity to showcase the new Performing Arts Center,” Breier said.

“This builds a great base for the university with 46,000 contributors to the campaign,” Breier said. “Seventy percent of those contributors are alumni, so it shows that our alumni are getting involved and engaged and want to give back to the university.”