UI Foundation introduces new $1.7 billion fundraising campaign

BY MICHELLE KIM | MAY 03, 2013 5:00 AM

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On a day dedicated completely to philanthropy, University of Iowa officials unveiled the UI Foundation’s newest fundraising campaign, For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa.

UI officials, students, and donors crowded the Old Capitol Senate Chamber on Thursday — also Phil’s Day on the UI campus — to introduce the push. Roughly $1.025 billion has been raised since 2008. The goal of the campaign is to raise $1.7 billion in private support by December 2016.

“For Iowa. Forever More, the campaign for the University of Iowa, not only will benefit generations of the University of Iowa students and faculty but also people throughout the state,” UI President Sally Mason said.

The UI’s last comprehensive campaign ended in 2005. The current effort would be the most ambitious fundraising effort in school history and would rank high nationally among public schools of similar sizes. Between 1999 and 2005, the previous campaign raised $1.05 billion, making it one of the top campaigns in the university’s 166-year tradition.

The campaign is propelled through three main goals: educating the students at the UI, ensuring a healthier and more sustainable world, and enriching commerce, culture, and communities.

Once the campaign successfully reaches the goal, the money will be used to provide endowed scholarships, study-abroad experiences, leadership training, hands-on research experience, student entrepreneurship initiatives, U.S. and international internships, endowed faculty chairs, and faculty-development opportunities.

UI Foundation President and CEO Lynette Marshall said the UI Children’s Hospital is one of the most compelling projects the funding supports.

“The University of Iowa is at the forefront of improving health and well-being of Iowans and citizens throughout the globe,” she said. “The Children’s Hospital serves children and their families from all 99 counties in the state of Iowa as well as many adjacent states.”

In 2016, the UI Children’s Hospital will have its new home in a 14-story, 195-bed facility.

Among the many donors the campaign includes is Janice Ellig, co-CEO of Chadick Ellig. She has given several notable gifts to the UI, including a scholarship in the College of Public Health’s master of health administration program that has supported 15 women students.

Her donation to the public-health school was in memory of her sister, a former student in the college who died at an early age.

“This is the legacy for my sister, and this will be forever dear in my heart,” Ellig said.

UI student Nick Rolston, who was enrolled in the President’s Leadership Class, has seen the positive effect of private donations.

“A lot of this money helped the students with scholarship, like myself,” he said. “All the money I’ve received covered all my tuition because of private support. It’s more than $25,000 a year, all from private donations.”

Mason said building relationships and receiving donations is a long process.

“People choose to give, because they feel passionate about giving back,” she said. “Many of the people who are making the gifts today are the people I’ve been working with for the last five or six years now. And you are talking with them, trying to assess what it is that really interested them, what excited them about their time period at the University of Iowa.”

Rolston said that students should be more aware of what kind of impact they could bring to the university.

“The takeaway message is that students shouldn’t be intimidated,” he said. “It’s important to understand that our money can make such a big difference, and the campus needs our private support in order to stay as such a great university.”

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