The University of Georgia announced an ambitious goal of $1.2 billion for the Commit to Georgia Campaign as well as a lead gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation on Nov. 17 at a kickoff event at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.
A commitment to students is at the center of this major fundraising effort, beginning with eliminating financial barriers by increasing support for merit- and need-based financial aid. In recognition of the critical importance of need-based aid, the Woodruff Foundation has made a transformational $30 million gift to the University of Georgia.
"The Woodruff Foundation is pleased to join alumni and friends of the University of Georgia to help expand opportunity for students with financial need," said Russ Hardin, president of the Woodruff Foundation. "We recognize that many bright, hard-working Georgia students face significant financial barriers to attending the university, and that far too many students graduate with burdensome debt. UGA's ambitious campaign will help ensure both the educated workforce and the leadership our state needs to prosper in future years."
In addition to increasing scholarship support for hard-working UGA students, the Commit to Georgia Campaign also will create more opportunities for hands-on learning and mentorship.
Beyond supporting students, the Commit to Georgia Campaign will help faculty and staff address some of the biggest issues facing the state and world. UGA is uniquely positioned to tackle challenges ranging from preventing the spread of infectious diseases like Zika to feeding the world's growing population to spurring economic development in the state. The Commit to Georgia Campaign not only will secure resources for such efforts but also will create more endowed professorships to attract and retain the very best and brightest faculty.
Fundraising for the Commit to Georgia Campaign in the preceding silent phase already has reached more than $680 million, surpassing the total amount raised during UGA's previous major campaign. Last week, the university shared its campaign priorities at a campus event where more than a thousand faculty, staff and students gathered in celebration. The university aims to reach its $1.2 billion goal by 2020.