NU Foundation reaches $1.2 billion fundraising goal early
May 22nd, 2012
Omaha, NE – Hitting its goal more than two years ahead of schedule isn’t stopping the University of Nebraska Foundation from continuing a massive fundraising campaign.
The University of Nebraska Foundation began the wide-ranging Campaign for Nebraska fundraising drive in 2005 with the stated goal to “create better prospect for students, expand research in specific areas and to improve the lives of Nebraskans.”
Tuesday, the Foundation announced it has reached its goal of $1.2 billion 30 months ahead of schedule.
Dorothy Endacott, Director of Communication for the NU Foundation, said they had a good indication early on in the campaign that it would be successful.
“There were some major gifts announced early on,” Endacott said. “We felt we had a little bit of momentum.”
She added the Foundation is grateful for each donor who has helped propel the drive to this point. “But with 30 months still to go,” she said, “we are working hard at fundraising for the remaining priorities of the campaign.”
Endacott said the top priorities of the fundraising drive are student scholarships, funds to recruit and retain faculty and global engagements.
Despite the momentum of the campaign, the University of Nebraska, which operates separately from the Foundation, still asked for support from the state in January to the tune of $91 million. That was requested as leverage to build four health-related projects. After some hesitation, Gov. Dave Heineman approved a reduced amount, allotting $71 million to the cause. That included new buildings for nursing programs in Kearney, a veterinary diagnostic center in Lincoln and a cancer research center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
Melissa Lee, Communications Manager for University Affairs at the University of Nebraska, said the University is trying to create a long-lasting partnership.
“We made the request with the goal in mind that it would be a great public-private partnership, Lee said. “The support from the state will be leveraged with more than $200 million in private funding, we estimate, plus $120 million in debt assumed by the Nebraska Medical center for the Cancer Research project. So this will be a great public private partnership for the state.”
So far, according to the Foundation, more than 80,000 people and organizations have made donations to the four campuses of the University of Nebraska. The campaign officially ends at the end of 2014.