UGA announced an aggressive goal of $1.2 billion for the Commit to Georgia Campaign as well as a $30 million lead gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation at a launch event in Atlanta. The campaign committee, comprised of 13 alumni and supporters, including honorary chairs Alston D. “Pete” and Ada Lee Correll and current chair Thomas H. Paris III, was recognized during the event for its dedicated efforts to build momentum around the campaign.
Now more than ever before, individuals and communities—near and far—are calling on the University of Georgia for solutions and discoveries, for education and training, and for leadership and support. The University launched the public phase of the Commit to Georgia Campaign in November 2016 to help answer that call.
The goal of this major campaign—the most ambitious fundraising effort in the University’s history—is to raise $1.2 billion by 2020 to expand UGA’s positive impact on the state of Georgia, on the nation, and on the world far into the future. After all, the University of Georgia plays a significant role in promoting the vitality of our communities, supporting our democracy, and bolstering our economy. The success of this campaign will help to further strengthen UGA’s role in advancing the public good.
Three shared priorities are guiding the Commit to Georgia Campaign:
These three priorities represent a bold vision for the next chapter in the great story of the birthplace of public higher education in America, a chapter—written by the entire UGA family—that will see the University advance its position among the nation’s very best public research universities.
The ultimate success of this campaign will be measured not only by the number of dollars raised but also—and more importantly—by the number of lives changed. Increasing scholarship support for our students will open doors to unparalleled opportunities that can alter the course of their lives and the lives of their families for generations to come.
Continuing to enhance the University’s world-class learning environment will ensure that graduates from the state’s flagship university are prepared for leadership and service in every sector of our society in the 21st century.
And focusing the University’s vast resources and expertise around the grand challenges of our time will place UGA on the forefront of helping to create a better quality of life for all, honoring the institution’s noble land- and sea-grant mission.
For more than 230 years, the University of Georgia has been deeply committed to transforming lives. This campaign is laying the foundation for even greater impact for centuries to come.
Alumni and friends of the University rallied behind the Commit to Georgia Campaign to contribute $227.8 million in new gifts and pledges in FY17. The unprecedented total represents a 24 percent increase over last year’s record of $183.8 million and nearly doubles the $117.2 million raised the year before President Morehead took office. This year marks the fourth consecutive year that supporters have set a new fundraising record as well as the first time that annual giving has surpassed $200 million. More than 68,000 donors contributed to the campaign this year, another all-time record and a clear sign of strong support for the University’s bold vision for the future.
The first year of the public phase of the Commit to Georgia Campaign is expected to produce the highest annual fundraising total with fluctuations up and down in the years to come. That is why the University remains focused on an overarching goal of elevating annual fundraising levels for the long-term and is tracking the three-year rolling average, which is now $185.2 million, 60 percent higher than the rolling average of FY13.
FY17 is a remarkable year for another reason: the University also received its largest single gift ever, a $30 million transformative donation from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation to support need-based scholarships through the UGA Foundation. The lives of countless students and their families across the state of Georgia will be forever changed by this tremendous act of generosity.
While much work remains to be done, the University made tremendous progress this year toward achieving its campaign goal. All in all, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends have donated more than $827 million to support the Commit to Georgia Campaign since the quiet phase launched in July of 2012.
This tremendous fundraising effort already is making a difference. Donors have created 115 Georgia Commitment scholarships and 79 experiential learning scholarships to support outstanding UGA students. Also, private giving is making possible critical facilities projects, such as the Business Learning Community, as well as innovative academic programs, such as the Experiential Learning Initiative. Moreover, donors are supporting the University’s work to combat threats to human health, help feed the world, and promote economic vitality.