The Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities
Campaign for Nebraska making a difference to the state, world
Campaign counting down to Dec. 31
Without scholarships, Sergio Ceja – the first in his family to attend college – might not have time to get involved in student government, the Greek system or other organizations at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, a campus that feels like a second home to him and where his younger brother also plans to attend.
An endowed chair has helped Professor Angela Hodge expand the reach of the University of Nebraska at Omaha's mathematics department, fueling more students' interest in critical science- and math-related fields.
Private gifts, along state and local public support, are turning the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center from a vision into a reality, helping the University of Nebraska Medical Center attract top talent like Sarah Thayer, M.D., Ph.D., a physician-scientist from Harvard Medical School.
Nebraska's next generation of rural entrepreneurs is receiving the training and mentorship they need to successfully start their own businesses thanks to the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
And founding gifts for the Buffett Early Childhood Institute and Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute helped the University of Nebraska recruit recognized leaders in the fields – Samuel Meisels and Roberto Lenton, respectively – who will help position the university as a global leader in early childhood education and the sustainable use of water for agriculture, among other areas.
These are just a handful of ways that the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities – the most successful fundraising effort in the history of the University of Nebraska – is transforming the university's ability to serve people in the state and around the world.
The university and foundation announced the campaign, which is down to its last few weeks and will end Dec. 31, 2014, has raised more than $1.8 billion for the University of Nebraska during its nine year run.
Brian Hastings, president and CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation, expressed in a statement his gratitude to the more than 97,000 individuals and organizations who gave during the campaign, more than half of whom were first-time donors to the university.
"It is because of the passion, generosity and commitment of our donors, volunteers and friends – not to mention the thousands of students, faculty and staff who are the lifeblood of this university – that the Campaign for Nebraska has been such a tremendous success," Hastings said. "They have seen, as I have, that something special is happening at the University of Nebraska, and they've wanted to be a part of it. Together, they have proven that the possibilities for the university really are unlimited."
Interim University of Nebraska President James Linder, M.D., said the outcomes of the campaign are numerous, putting the university in a strong position as it looks to its next phase of momentum and growth. For example, thanks in part to private support that helps expand access to more students, NU's enrollment reached 51,215 this fall, a 21-year high and a 13 percent increase since 2004. Nearly half of Nebraska's top high school graduates – those graduating in the top quartile of their class – now choose the University of Nebraska.
Linder also noted that Nebraska is now among the top 10 college-going states in the country, that minority enrollment at NU has increased more than 25 percent in the past five years, and international enrollment topped 4,000 this fall, a record high.
"Our vision for the University of Nebraska is to become the best public university in the country in terms of our impact on the people we serve," he said. "Because of the Campaign for Nebraska, we are in a tremendous position to achieve that goal. Our work in making a college education more affordable for students, attracting talented employees, developing world-class facilities and building a global reputation for the university in areas important to Nebraskans and others continues, but it has been greatly enhanced over the course of this campaign.
"Great things are ahead for the University of Nebraska."
The campaign has focused on nine priority areas. Student support was the highest priority, and donors have generously contributed more than $265 million so far for scholarships, fellowships and other forms of student support.
Faculty support was another priority, and nearly 200 new funds have been created for endowed chairs, professorships and other forms of faculty support to help the university recruit and retain even more top talent.
The other goals of the campaign are global engagement, including growing participation in study abroad programs and attracting more international students; water for food; cancer research and care; early childhood education; agriculture and life sciences; information technology and business; and architectural engineering and construction.
Tonn Ostergard, chair of the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Directors, said it is an especially proud time to be an alumnus of the University of Nebraska.
"It has been amazing to see how everyone's support for this campaign — with gifts of absolutely every amount — has helped position the university for an outstanding future. Years from now we'll continue to see its effects on our students, faculty, academic programs and research."
It is not too late to support the Campaign for Nebraska. A gift of any size can make a difference.
To give, please visit campaignfornebraska.org.
Campaign for Nebraska. Unlimited Possibilities
The University of Nebraska Foundation is involved in a comprehensive fundraising campaign to fund university priorities such as student scholarships, faculty recruitment, research and program support. The campaign will conclude Dec. 31, 2014. To learn more about the Campaign for Nebraska, or to contribute, go to campaignfornebraska.org.
The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 78 years. In the 2014 fiscal year, donors provided the university with $258.1 million for scholarships, medical and other research, academic programs, faculty support and facilities. The foundation's comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Nebraska, has raised more than $1.8 billion for the university and ends on Dec. 31.
For more information, visit nufoundation.org.