Staff Editorial 2/20: UM making billion-dollar progress

Money may not buy happiness, but it is no secret that with more money a university can progress and excel.

The University of Miami has substantially improved in the past decade, and much of this success is due to money raised during President Donna E. Shalala’s Momentum campaign that launched in 2001. The first Momentum campaign raised $1.4 billion and allowed the school to make historic achievements, as well as gain international recognition. With this money, the school funded 166 endowed scholarships, 35 professors, 21 new facilities and major renovations.

Coming off the success of that six-year fundraiser, UM launched its Momentum 2 campaign last week. This $1.6 billion campaign plans to distribute funds to support a number of departments and services on campus such as scholarships, study abroad programs, the Launch Pad and various other projects. Funds will also be used to maintain and enhance current university programs.

Unaware of where all the university’s money campus goes, students tend to complain about rising tuition and additional fees UM charges. But this $1.6 billion will be beneficial for students’ academic interests, extracurricular activities, financial aid awards and campus life. UM is already nationally recognized for being the first private university to reach a 10-digit fundraising goal. While other universities are having a difficult time dealing with a struggling economy, UM continues to overcome the obstacles and rise.

According to Worth Magazine, UM is the most fiscally responsible nonprofit organization in the nation. This affirms that our university is doing a good job. Students should have no reason to complain, wonder or worry about where campus money is going.

So far in the Momentum 2 campaign, $906 million has been raised. This is just the beginning. Of the money already raised, $100 million will be donated to the Diabetes Research Institute because the Miller School of Medicine has been extremely successful in conducting breakthrough research that could ultimately lead to a cure for diabetes. This $100 million could drive researchers to the finish line.

In addition, $20 million have been allotted to the new Student Activities Center, which should be finalized by 2013. This state of the art, LEED-certified facility will be home to the popular Rathskeller, a number of spacious offices for student organizations and more.

These two donations prove how the Momentum 2 Campaign is rightly allocating funds to places that will benefit the entire UM community and its neighbors. The university also plans to distribute funds to each of the 11 schools in order to further build on the university’s past successful scholastic achievements.

With the last Momentum campaign, UM significantly improved, not only in the rankings by jumping 29 slots, but as a whole. The launch of Momentum 2 actualizes the shared vision that spirited Canes have for a better future at the U.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.