The University of Michigan is more than a third of the way toward its goal of raising $4 billion as part of its new Victors for Michigan campaign, the school announced Thursday. The university secured $1.7 billion during a two-year silent phase.
“University of Michigan donors have always understood the importance of private gifts to the success of the university,” says Mary Sue Coleman, the university’s president. “They understand that private support adds to the margin of excellence necessary to maintaining our role as one of the top public research universities in the world.”
Around $1 billion from the campaign will be used to make the institution more affordable for students in lieu of a steady stream of state budget cuts in recent years.
“We believe that by judiciously controlling our costs and tuition increases, while also committing university funds for financial aid, we can join with donors to make it possible for the best students from any socio-economic background to afford to get a Michigan education,” says Andrea Fischer Newman, chair of the U-M Board of Regents.
The campaign will allow the university to provide a more global perspective to students as well as prioritize collaboration on ideas that address challenging problems including sustainability, kindergarten-12th grade education, and cancer.
Fischer Newman said for the first time the institution allowed students to participate in the campaign. “Students are announcing that they have given and raised more than $1.5 million for the campaign thus far. This is an extraordinary act of philanthropy,” she said.
During the school’s last fundraising campaign, called the Michigan Difference, which ran from 2004 to 2008, the university raised $3.2 billion.
The university will host a kick-off celebration for the campaign today with a community-wide festival at Ingalls Mall from 5-7:30 p.m., followed by an event in neighboring Hill Auditorium at 8 p.m. Following the Hill event, there will be an after party from 9-10 p.m. at Ingalls Mall.