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Thursday October 5, 2000

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Campaign Arizona goal to be announced today

By Ryan Gabrielson

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Activities start this morning with "fireside chat," black-tie gala tonight

Officials with the UA's Campaign Arizona will announce their five-year fundraising goal at noon today.

After three years of planning and name changes, the UA's largest-ever private fundraising campaign will have a goal to reach that is expected to be hundreds of millions of dollars.

"Once you set a goal, you've got to make it," University of Arizona President Peter Likins said.

At 8:30 a.m. today, Likins will have a "fireside chat" with UA students to explain what Campaign Arizona is and what it may achieve, said Dana Weir, UA Foundation spokeswoman.

"It's for students that aren't quite as familiar (with Campai gn Arizona) as the rest of us," Weir said.

After speaking with students, Likins and the campaign co-chairs will look at the campaign's projections and decide on a final monetary goal.

The festivities will then begin at noon with Likins' announcement of the goal amount.

"The co-chairs have a very strong voice in the goals," Likins said.

The campaign has already amassed about $475 million in donations, but Likins said he is unsure of how high he and the co-chairs will set the bar.

"There have been a number of universities with goals of $2 billion," he said. "But they have more of a gift giving history."

"(The UA community) shouldn't expect us to step up to that level," he added.

In July 1997, the UA Foundation began creating a database of the university's benefactors and individuals and organizations that may contribute financially to the university's future.

Five themes were established for the campaign, the first being learning through discovery, part of the UA's effort to promote learner centered education at the university.

Creating a student-centered community, creating better living, increasing global partnerships and energizing the economy are the other themes.

Likins then began traveling the nation, setting up partnerships, creating a President's Leadership Team and displaying the university to potential donors.

Each college and department was asked to create a list of projects they could undertake with additional funding, which Likins had organized into a book.

That book was then taken to each potential donor to show what projects their donations could go towards.

After Likins announces the goal, there will be many festivities, all leading up to the invitation-only, black-tie gala in front of the Old Main building tonight.

UA alumnus actor Craig T. Nelson and comedian Gary Shandling will attend the gala.

While the UA foundation hasn't totaled the amount the celebration will cost, Weir said it is all being paid for with private funds.