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DATE: June 16, 2005

UM-Dearborn's capital campaign more than 60 percent toward goal

DEARBORN---An effort to raise $40 million in donations for the University of Michigan-Dearborn is more than 60 percent of the way toward achieving that goal at approximately the halfway point in the campaign.

UM-Dearborn's drive is part of the U-M's Michigan Difference campaign, which aims to raise $2.5 billion by 2008.

The campaign began with a "quiet phase" in 2000, with a public launch in May 2004 with the goal of raising $35 million in cash and another $5 million in bequest intentions by 2008.

"As of the end of May with just over half of the campaign concluded, we have raised $20.9 million in cash, and $3.65 million in bequest intentions," according to Thomas Baird, vice chancellor for institutional advancement at UM-Dearborn.

The figures were presented earlier this spring at a meeting involving volunteers from advisory boards that serve the academic units and committees across campus. "We also spoke about the campaign's future goals, and a part of that group, the Chancellor's Campaign Council, met the next day to discuss the campaign's strategic plan," Baird said.

"At those meetings, our most generous supporters were very pleased to hear about the progress of the campaign to date and our prospects for meeting our goals," he said. "Everyone present was energized and gratified by the support these volunteers expressed for the campus and for its long-term goals."

UM-Dearborn's campaign is focused on three main areas: increasing student scholarships; establishing endowed professorships; and enhancing the campus's partnerships in southeastern Michigan. "These priorities were identified through a yearlong process involving the academic leadership of the campus, faculty and staff, and hundreds of alumni and other supporters in the community," Baird said.

During the past few months, the campus has received several major gifts, ranging from $50,000 to $200,000, from alumni who are interested in supporting particular causes, as well as from corporations and foundations.

"For example, an alumnus from the campus's earliest days, Don Allard, who received his bachelor's degree in 1964 and is now a successful car dealer in California, has committed $50,000 to support endowed scholarship programs," Baird said. "Increasing scholarship support is critical to helping the campus attract more students, especially the kind of ambitious students who can benefit the most from the quality of our academic programs."

In addition, UM-Dearborn recently received a contribution of $200,000 from the McGregor Fund to support a truly innovative environmental program for urban schoolchildren and their parents, building on the existing strengths of our campus's environmental programs and facilities.

"While we celebrate our success so far, it's important to remember that our work on the campaign is not done," Baird said. "We will continue to solicit gifts both large and small, from alumni, from faculty and staff members, and from supporters and friends in the community."

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