UNC officials spent the weekend rolling out announcements following a major fundraising campaign launch on Friday.
“We’re announcing today that our campaign goal is to raise $4.25 billion,” UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said at an event on Friday morning leading to a weekend’s worth of activity.
“That is a historic figure,” Folt said. “It’s the second largest among public universities in America. That’s $4.2 billion that carries an enormous responsibility, and we intend to use every single dollar put to use in the public good.”
The goal will be to raise that money by December 31, 2022. UNC has been in the so-called quiet phase of the campaign over the last three years, in which the university has set a new fundraising record each year totaling $1.754 billion. Vice chancellor for university development David Routh said the university exceeded its quiet phase goal, which also led to a $1 billion increase in the overall campaign goal.
Folt said this campaign is necessary to provide for the future needs of UNC.
“To meet the contemporary demands, we’re going to be raising funds to make major changes in the curricula and the teaching methods in all of our programs,” Folt said. “We’re going to be providing access to global experiences and experiential learning that is needed to prepare our students to be ready for taking their place in a fast-paced changing world.”
Part of Friday’s celebration including the announcement of a $50 million gift from alumnus and Campaign for Carolina chair John Townsend and his wife Maree that will be distributed across several areas of the university.
Folt said that the goal of the campaign was to allow access to the university for anyone who qualifies.
“This initiative is our dream to eliminate all financial barriers to a great education.”
Other announcements on Friday included major donations to the Ackland Art Museum and creating the Institute for Convergent Science to “focus on tackling the world’s biggest problems through multidisciplinary collaboration.”
UNC continued with an announcement at halftime of the UNC football game against Notre Dame on Saturday that the university was launching a $20 million challenge “in support of need-based aid for the children of service men and women.” That challenge originated from a $40 million gift from Steve and Debbie Vetter, of Greensboro. The gift also pledges $10 million to UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and $10 million to Carolina Athletcis, in addition to the $20 million for the aforementioned Red, White and Carolina Blue Challenge.
The university also announced a $10 million challenge on Monday morning from alumnus John G. Ellison Jr. toward an effort to “help retain and reward current outstanding faculty and attract extraordinary teachers, scholars and scientists to Carolina.”