The Campaign for Tennessee, the most ambitious fundraising effort in the 216-year history of the University of Tennessee, has reached its $1-billion goal 18 months ahead of schedule. While the campaign’s official end is not until December 2011, a total of $1,023,331,880 already has been committed.
“This monumental success of reaching our goal early is a grand statement by our alumni and friends that they believe in the work of our faculty and leadership as well as the importance of the University of Tennessee in their lives and in the future of our state,” says Interim President Jan Simek.
The campaign’s success places UT among an elite group of only 28 public universities that have successfully completed fundraising campaigns of at least $1 billion, according to the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
The gift that put the campaign over the top came from the family of UT Board of Trustees member Charles C. Anderson Jr., CEO of Anderson Media Corporation, and his wife, Moll, who is an author; lifestyle, marketing and communications expert; and TV host. They live in Knoxville.
“Moll and I considered how we could best make a positive impact on this state and region. The university was the obvious answer,” says Charlie Anderson, who graduated from UT Knoxville with a marketing degree.
“The university has already given so much to our family, it was just natural that we would want to give back,” Moll Anderson says.
In recognizing the Andersons’ generosity, the university is naming the College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in their honor. The newly named Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation houses a unique and vibrant program with incredible interest by students and faculty, with a goal of establishing future business that will positively impact the economy in the region. The gift will further enable faculty to teach students and develop their entrepreneurial talent to start businesses or contribute to the success of existing technology-driven businesses.
Visit the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation’s website for more information.
The gift also has established the Moll R. Anderson Scholarship Endowment to provide scholarships for single parents, with special consideration given to parents whose children participate in the Boys and Girls Clubs.
“I believe in dreams,” Moll Anderson says. “I believe you can do anything you want to do if you set your mind to it. If you add an education to that determination, nothing can stop you.”
So far, more than 98,000 donors have given to the Campaign for Tennessee. More than 11,000 current and retired faculty and staff have donated $70.5 million as part of the family campaign led by President Emeritus Joe Johnson.
Campaign for Tennessee co-chairs Jim and Natalie Haslam of Knoxville and Brenda Lawson of Cleveland say they are excited by the opportunities made possible by the campaign’s success.
“The Campaign for Tennessee is not about numbers; it is about people. But the amount of money given and pledged allows the university to take the lead in being the engine of economic success for our state,” Jim Haslam says.
Lawson added, “We have worked to make sure the university has what it needs, whether it is support to keep our outstanding professors or scholarships to ensure that financial need is not a barrier to access for students who want to attend any of UT’s campuses.”
Typical of public university fundraising, most donors designate the use of their gifts. About 98 percent of all Campaign for Tennessee gifts are allocated for a specific scholarship, professorship, program, or other objective of the donor’s choosing. These gifts cannot be used to offset the university’s operating costs.
Thirty-seven percent of the campaign total consists of deferred gifts that include bequests, charitable trusts, and gift annuities, which by their nature will not be realized for many years. Another third of the total consists of pledges to be paid over a period of years. The remainder is made up of gifts already received.
The Campaign for Tennessee’s positive impact already is visible in the changing skyline of each campus.
Private gifts provided significant funding for the following:
• Min Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science building, UT Knoxville
• Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, UT Knoxville
• Brenda Lawson Student-Athlete Success Center, UT Chattanooga
• Renovation of the Dunn Dental Building, UT Health Science Center
• John and Ann Tickle Small Animal Hospital, UT Institute of Agriculture
• UT Martin Parsons Center in Decatur County
• John Tickle Engineering Building, UT Knoxville
• Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, UT Knoxville
• Dr. William M. Bass Anthropology Center
In addition, the Sherri Parker Lee Softball Stadium, Regal Soccer Complex, Pratt Pavilion basketball practice facility, and renovations to Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville were funded entirely by private dollars.
While the $1-billion goal has been met 18 months early, the campaign will continue until its scheduled completion date of December 2011. Fundraising remains critical to the university’s future, says Simek.
“Even though we have reached our overall goal for the Campaign for Tennessee, we are not finished,” he says. “Campuses and colleges are striving to achieve their individual goals, and the university is continuing to reshape its strategic plans.”