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Campus campaign charges past goal, reaches $103 million

Submitted by Jennifer Ellis on April 20, 2012 – 6:29 amNo Comment

It’s Time for UALR, the University’s first comprehensive capital campaign, surpassed its goal for a second time raising $103.6 million to help fund programs, facilities, scholarships and faculty, campaign officials announced April 11.

Thanks to 18,605 donors the first goal of $75 million was realized about 18 months early and the campaigns revised goal of $100 million was met with success early this year.

In a letter to donors posted on the University’s website Chancellor Joel Anderson said, “We not only met but exceeded our goal – twice. This is not only impressive, but also uncommon. In a time when many institutions struggled to reach their initial goals, we were raising ours. This says a lot about the people who work for and support our university.”

University officials boasted a faculty and staff campaign participation rate of 47 percent for a total contribution of $2.9 million.

“Because the faculty and staff led first … it really set an example and tone for everybody else to follow,” said Bob Denman, vice chancellor for development.

Much of the money the seven-year campaign brought in has already been put to work. Benefiting most from the campaign were university programs, which received 46 percent of the funds, including $6 million dedicated to mechanical and electrical engineering programs, according to the final campaign report.

Facilities improvements garnered 24 percent of the campaign funds, which helped in the building and furnishing of the Engineering and Information Technology Building, completion of the Jack Stephens Center, remodeling the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, Trail of Tears Park, Coleman Park and the Trojan Grill, which is in the final phase of construction.

Twenty percent of the campaign’s funds were assigned to student support mostly in the way of scholarships. This contributed to the more than 2,000 privately funded scholarships UALR now has, which award $1.1 million to students annually, according to a press release.

Faculty support received six percent of the campaign funds. Some of the things those contributions are earmarked for include endowments for the deans of the College of Engineering and Information Technology, the Bowen School of Law, the College of Business and the chief scientist in the Nanotechnology Center.

Another four percent of the donations to the campaign were left unrestricted. Even though the comprehensive campaign has wrapped up, the giving has not. It is still as high as it had been at any point during the campaign, Denman said.

He said going forward, “We might be down a little bit because we’ve pushed so hard to get so much money in that original campaign window. But I think UALR will be poised to begin another campaign in say three years and I think it will be a much larger campaign than $103 million.”

Denman said he plans to bring in a consultant to look at the university’s strengths and weaknesses, so they can build up and support a bigger campaign next time.

“It’s building up infrastructure as you go with the understanding that private philanthropy can be a strategic resource for the university to meet its mission,” he said.

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