USU Hits Campaign Goal After Just One Year; Campaign Continues Full Force
Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2008
In addition to celebrating its 120th birthday Saturday, Utah State University celebrated another landmark moment at its Founders Day party.
USU President Stan L. Albrecht announced at the celebration that the university had exceeded its $200 million comprehensive campaign goal only one year after the announcement of the campaign’s public phase.
The campaign, publicly announced in March 2007 at Founders Day, continues through Dec. 31, 2010, so it was a momentous announcement Saturday that USU had raised $202.8 million as of March 8, just 12 months since the launch of the public phase of the campaign.
“We have exceeded our initial goal of $200 million, and we’re not turning back,” Albrecht told the audience. “It’s been a very good year. We have announced one transformational gift after another. We have done things — with your help — that will propel Utah State to heights we have not yet imagined.”
He said that a key to the success over the last year has been a number of record-breaking gifts: $26 million from Jon M. and Karen Huntsman; $25 million from the Emma Eccles Jones Foundation; $15 million from Marc and Debbie Bingham; $5 million from the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation; and several significant gifts from Jim and Carol Laub and many others to support the Student Academic Athlete Center.
These gifts complemented several significant gifts donated during the silent phase of the campaign: the Manon Caine Russell and Kathryn Caine Wanlass gift for USU’s world-class Performance Hall; a $5.3 million land gift in the Uintah Basin from Bob Williams; and David Sant’s generous gift for the Engineering Innovation Building.
But another extremely important component of the campaign’s success has been the huge number of people giving to USU for the first time, Albrecht said. He also stressed that gifts both large and small have added to the total, and the university is proud of the number of people who have stepped forward to join the campaign. More than 29,000 individuals or families have made gifts so far, and more than 11,000 people have made their first gift ever to Utah State during this campaign.
“This includes gifts of all sizes — from the biggest blockbuster announcements to a small payroll deduction that a hard-working member of our staff carves out each month — because they believe in the power of a Utah State education,” Albrecht said.
It is important to note that the campaign will continue uninterrupted, Albrecht said.
“The big gifts we have received are making a huge difference for the university, but many of those projects — important as they are — will build buildings and enhance programs,” he said. “The most pressing need as the campaign moves forward is building our endowment, which provides ongoing support year in and year out for our best students and professors.”
Endowed scholarships, fellowships and endowed chairs provide critical support for students and faculty, and they provide that support in perpetuity, he said. The future competitiveness of Utah State will depend heavily on its ability to create sustainable support for students and faculty from endowed funds, and so the emphasis of the continuing phase of the campaign will be to seek additional endowment gifts.
“We still lose too many students for financial reasons,” Albrecht said. “We need to be able to recruit and serve more first-generation and minority students. We must give greater attention to recruiting those students who are reluctant to believe that a college education is a relevant or achievable option for them. We must build the endowment to help us attract and retain the very strongest faculty. And we must begin to build a much stronger endowment to support our athletic enterprise.”
In response to a question that is often asked, Albrecht also reaffirmed definitively that he is committed to remaining at Utah State at least through the end of the campaign.
Contact: Tim Vitale, 435-797-1356
Contact: Ross Peterson, Vice President for University Advancement, 797-1158