UM to raise $1.6 billion by 2016

UM launched its second billion-dollar fundraising campaign Thursday night with the goal of raising $1.6 billion by 2016.

“We have many ambitions and we need the funds,” said Sergio Gonzalez, the senior vice president for UM’s Division of University Advancement.

At Thursday night’s black tie event, UM President Donna E. Shalala announced that $906 million had already been raised during the silent phase of the campaign. The remaining $695 million will be raised over the next four years.

Momentum 2 is not the largest university campaign in history – Stanford University once raised $6.2 billion.

UM’s drive, however, is still a major accomplishment for the school.  Its first Momentum campaign was the first billion-dollar campaign led by a school founded in the 20th century.  The current goal is on par with University of Florida’s recent campaign, which hopes to raise $1.5 billion.

These donations will go toward creating more scholarships and professor chairs, funding research at the Miller School of Medicine, and boosting current institutes and facilities.

“We try to match donors’ interests and affinities with programs here in the U,” Gonzalez said. “We want to give back to donors in a symbolic way, as much as possible.”

Sophomore Marisa Fiat is looking forward to the changes that will occur because of the fundraising campaign.

“It’s going to enrich campus life and bring more opportunities,” she said. “The scholarships are the best part because they are going to bring more diversity to campus.”