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News
Campaign Arizona set to meet funding goal


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By Shelley Shelton
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday September 12, 2003

Campaign Arizona, the most ambitious fundraising effort the UA has ever undertaken, is on track to meet its $1 billion goal, more than a year ahead of schedule.

By June 30, the latest date for which figures are available, donation totals had reached $954 million, said Dana Wier, spokeswoman for the University of Arizona Foundation, the fundraising arm of the university that oversees Campaign Arizona.

That's about $200 million more than the June 2002 total.

"All indications are that the campaign will surpass $1 billion by the end of the calendar year," said Tom Sanders, executive director of Campaign Arizona.

When the program and its goal were first announced in October 2000, there was some public skepticism about it, Sanders said.

"One billion dollars was an intimidating goal when we began this," said President Peter Likins, adding that the UA had never raised that much money for anything before.

Yet, every year since Campaign Arizona began, it has broken the record for the most amount of money the UA has ever raised in a year. Not even the recession that began in 2001 nor the terror attacks on Sept.11 stopped it from growing, even as fundraising efforts at other institutions suffered, Likins said.

"The university's not sitting back, taking a beating. We're trying to help ourselves. People have lost jobs, they've lost fortunes in this economy, and yet we're continuing to do all right with this," he said.

Likins said the original idea was to raise $1 billion in eight years, but the fundraising will not end when the billion-dollar mark is achieved.

"Once we blow past our goal, that doesn't mean we're going to stop raising money for the campaign," he said.

There are still smaller goals to meet, he said.

These goals include more endowed faculty positions, student scholarships, research funding, and new or improved buildings.

According to Weir, 56 percent of the funds have been allocated for research. Another 20 percent is scheduled to go toward colleges, 8.4 percent is for endowments, 2.7 percent for student financial aid, 3.8 percent for athletics, and 4.6 percent will be put toward public service.

Sanders, too, emphasized the smaller goals that comprise the rest of the campaign and reiterated that the work is not finished when $1 billion is raised.

"While Campaign Arizona will help the university in many, many, many important ways, it is not the kind of thing that will offset legislative budget cuts," he said. "We must increase the funds available for scholarships. We have to secure more faculty endowments."

All over the United States, people no longer assume the states will support their universities, Likins said.

"The world is changing. Public universities cannot survive without private money," he said.

The Arizona Board of Regents made it clear when Likins came to UA in July 1997 that fundraising would be one of his major tasks, he said.

"It was basically part of my job description when I got here. They said, ╬Well, Pete, you're going to be raising money,'" Likins said.

While a significant proportion of the donations collected so far ¸ 32 percent ¸ has come from alumni, non-alumni contributions are not far behind, at 24 percent of the total to date, Wier said.

Other sources of money include foundations and corporate donors, she said.

"It's one of the more unique characteristics about giving to the University of Arizona, is that we have a significant proportion of donors that are not alumni," she said.

"Where a university is concerned, the principle motivation behind philanthropy is two-pronged: loyalty and appreciation," Sanders said. "People like what the University of Arizona does and what it stands for."

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