UC continues campaign to raise $1 billion by 2013 - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

UC continues campaign to raise $1 billion by 2013

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The University of Cincinnati has reached the halfway point in its most ambitious campaign ever - raising $1 billion by the year 2013.

Proudly Cincinnati: Tower of Strength, Rock of Truth is UC's vision to become the finest urban research university in the United States.

Through Proudly Cincinnati, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of UC provide essential monetary support. Their gifts support private scholarships, fellowships, co-op opportunities and more to help transform students' lives and enable them to do great things for their communities and the people they serve after graduation. UC has passed the halfway point of its fund-raising goal, but it still has a challenging road ahead.

Only two percent of public universities have even attempted such a feat – and UC launched the public phase of its campaign in 2009, in one of the worst economic periods this country has ever known.

The university has already used Proudly Cincinnati funds to build facilities designed by signature architects, build nationally and internationally ranked programs and record record-breaking support for UC's research.

According to U.S. News and World Report, there was an estimated 22.5 percent drop in endowment funds between July 2008 and Dec. 2008.  These private gifts are used for funding scholarships, keeping college costs low, improving facilities and strengthening ties to student life and surrounding communities.  

UC's new president, Dr. Gregory Williams, has taken over campaign after former president Nancy Zimpher, who launched the campaign, left to become chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY). Williams holds the record for the largest individual gift ever received by Ohio State University and attracted a number of high-profile donations during his tenure at City College of New York.  

"President Williams has a bold vision for the future of higher education," said UC Trustees Chair H.C. Buck Niehoff, who led the effort to appoint UC's newest president.  "He is a noted scholar with a remarkable record for building enrollment while ensuring academic excellence and diversity. He also has a substantial background in leading successful fundraising efforts. We were looking for that kind of symbiosis between vision and proven excellence, to inspire university leadership and help meet the aggressive goals established by the Proudly Cincinnati campaign."

Williams helped launch a celebration of Proudly Cincinnati  on Tuesday by announcing the campaign has officially passed the halfway point with approximately $638 million in donations to-date. In addition, he shared his vision of the future of the campaign by issuing a challenge to the UC community that aims to make Proudly Cincinnati an indelible part of the fabric of the university's campus.

The university's student community took Williams' challenge seriously by introducing a new component to the Proudly Cincinnati campaign, Proudly Pennies. UC students pledged to make every penny count by instituting a campus-wide effort to raise 1 billion pennies – the equivalent of $10 million.

"We as students are an integral part of the University of Cincinnati community, and we believe it is our responsibility to help mobilize support of this great university," said Tim Lolli, UC Student Body President. "Proudly Pennies is the student body's contribution to making this great university even better."

The addition of Proudly Pennies to the university's $1 billion campaign isn't the only new idea the foundation recently brought to the table. The foundation's leadership has launched a new Web site that makes it easy for participants to invite personal and professional networks to contribute to the campaign; and faculty and staff volunteers who encourage participation among their colleagues. The results have been impressive: in 2009, the campaign saw a 22 percent increase in the number of faculty/staff contributors, and more than $1.3 million in contributions over the previous year. 

Visit http://www.uc.edu/proudlycincinnati/default.html for more information.

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