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  CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: (313) 593-5518
DATE: May 5, 2004

Fund-raising campaign kickoff May 14

DEARBORN---The University of Michigan-Dearborn will launch a major fund-raising campaign at a kick-off ceremony at 7:45 a.m. May 14 at the Fairlane Center.

The Fairlane Center, which was Ford's Fairlane Training and Development Center, was acquired by UM-Dearborn last year and houses the campus's schools of education and management. It is located at 19000 Hubbard Drive in Dearborn.

"This occasion provides us a wonderful opportunity for the UM-Dearborn family-students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends-to come together to celebrate almost a half-century of growth and change," according to Chancellor Daniel Little.

"A great foundation has been laid over the 45 years since the campus was founded, and it is now time for us to build on that foundation and to enhance our capacity to serve this region in truly distinctive ways for the next century," Little said.

The ceremony will include remarks by U-M Regent Andrew Richner, Chancellor Little, Provost Robert Simpson, students and alumni who have volunteered to take leadership roles in the campaign. UM-Dearborn's event was planned to coincide with the launch the same weekend of the campaign that will include all schools, colleges, units and campuses of the University of Michigan.

"We expect to make some major announcements at the kickoff, including the target amount that we hope to raise between now and 2008," according to Thomas Baird, vice chancellor for institutional advancement. "We will announce some major gifts that day, gifts that indicate the dedication and affection our alumni have for their experiences as students at UM-Dearborn."

The campaign will focus on three main areas: increasing student opportunities especially through scholarships; strengthening academic programs through endowed professorships; and enhancing the campus's already strong partnerships in southeastern Michigan.

"These priorities were identified through a year-long process involving the academic leadership of the campus, some faculty and staff, and hundreds of alumni and other supporters in the community," Baird said.

Increasing scholarship support is critical to helping the campus attract more students, especially those students who are choosing between UM-Dearborn and other schools, Baird said. "Many of our most dedicated supporters among our alumni feel very strongly about keeping UM-Dearborn affordable for students in this region, and they've indicated strong levels of support for scholarships."

"We also will be seeking gifts to help equip the new engineering and science buildings that will be built in the next few years," Baird said.

In addition, the campaign will be seeking support for more collaborative projects among the campus and the communities in southeastern Michigan.

"This campus has always stood for stronger connections with the surrounding community, and those connections are critical to the campus's visibility and influence in southeastern Michigan," Baird said. "Strengthening those connections will help us recruit more students and generate even more support for the campus in the years ahead."

Those interested in attending the kickoff should call (313) 593-5130 or send a message to umdevent@umd.umich.edu.

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