Momentum reaches lofty goal

The University of Miami reached its goal of raising $1 billion as part of its Momentum campaign 18 months earlier than they had planned. Reaching this goal makes UM the first school in the state of Florida to raise over $1 billion from private donors.

The campaign was scheduled to end in 2007. The money raised will be used to further construction and other initiatives outlined in 2000 by UM administration and trustees.

“When we decided to launch the Momentum campaign, we knew we had the institutional commitment and community support to reach our goal,” President Donna E. Shalala said in a press release. “What has been very exciting is that we have done so ahead of schedule, and our Board of Trustees plans to keep going. The Momentum campaign has truly lived up to its name.”

To date, the University has raised $1,028,578,781, donated by a total of 104,364 individuals.

“These gifts are really investments that will help leverage an unparalleled concentration of productivity,” Sergio M. Gonzalez, vice president for university advancement, said in the release. “Every dollar will be returned many times over to the community through an educated workforce, enhanced healthcare delivery and civically engaged citizens.”

The majority of the donations have been given under the pledge to “enhance university initiatives,” totaling more than $319 million. Research is the second-largest donation area, with contributions of approximately $273.7 million.

Since the campaign is ahead of schedule, the Board of Trustees made the decision to continue its fundraising efforts until 2007. It has increased the goal by $250 million.

“Hitting the billion-dollar mark is the best incentive to keep going,” Dean Colson, chairman of the Board of the Trustees and campaign co-chair, said in the release. “The Board of Trustees understood from the beginning that success would not only be measured by the dollars raised but also by the fulfillment of specific funding priorities. Everyone should feel extremely proud of their hard work.”

The bulk of the donations, $700 million, will go to the Miller School of Medicine for an overhaul of the facilities.

Other funding will benefit the undergraduate community at the University.

The Board of Trustees has yet to announce where the additional $250 million will be used.

Stacey Arnold can be contacted at