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University of Iowa Foundation
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973

Release: June 8, 2002

UI kicks off public phase of $850 million comprehensive campaign

The University of Iowa today launched the public phase of its comprehensive fund-raising campaign, which seeks to generate a total of $850 million in private support for the university by the end of 2005.

Named Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University, the fund drive is the largest in the state of Iowa's history. The seven-year effort began its quiet phase in 1999.

Hundreds of UI supporters in attendance at the campaign announcement event in Hancher Auditorium heard university leaders and volunteers describe how private contributors' gifts will benefit UI students, faculty, facilities, research, and programs; elevate the university to a new level of excellence; and enable the UI to better serve the people of Iowa and beyond.

Officials with the UI Foundation, the university's preferred channel for private support, also announced today that $526 million has been raised so far toward the campaign's goal.

"As a University of Iowa graduate and contributor, I believe there is no more powerful way to transform my state, my nation—even my world—than to support education, especially the kind offered by this great university," said Mary Louise Petersen of Harlan, Iowa, who is co-chair of the campaign's national steering committee and a former chair of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. "To maintain its educational excellence and innovative spirit, the University of Iowa must be both wise and bold, and this simple truth is the impetus for this forward-looking fund-raising initiative."

Campaign co-chair Marvin A. Pomerantz of Des Moines, also a former Board of Regents chair, said, "If the University of Iowa is to continue and advance as an outstanding public university serving Iowans and people everywhere, this campaign must succeed, and I have every confidence that it will. This university's graduates and friends recognize the UI's extraordinary value to Iowa citizens and to our state's economic and intellectual vitality, and I believe they will commit to preserving and enhancing that value."

UI President Mary Sue Coleman said that while the campaign results will certainly advance the university to new heights, its purpose is also very much focused on the need to "keep pace."

"We live in a highly competitive society now, and this is as true in public higher education as it is in business or any other arena," Coleman said. "The University of Iowa must maintain its standard of excellence, or it simply won't be able to compete at the highest level.

"If the UI loses its competitive edge—if we no longer have the financial resources to maintain quality and nurture growth—the people of Iowa lose, and so do people everywhere who are touched by the UI," she continued. "That is why it is so important to invest in this special educational community, where Iowans send their children for an exceptional educational experience, and where people across the country and around the world come to seek knowledge and understanding."

UI Foundation President Michael New said that the main goals of the campaign are based on those of the UI's current strategic plan, which seeks to improve the university's teaching and learning experience and environment, and to boost support for students, faculty, research, scholarship, facilities and key programs.

"It will take an unprecedented partnership among all of this university's stakeholders to turn the UI's exciting vision for the 21st century into reality," New said. "Private philanthropy is absolutely essential if the UI is to have the resources needed to achieve its goals."

The UI's strategic plan for 2000-2005 seeks to create a well-rounded undergraduate experience; achieve a significant number of premier graduate and professional programs; foster distinguished research, scholarship and artistic creation; facilitate campus-wide interdisciplinary interaction in teaching, research, and service; develop an enriching campus environment; and enhance the UI's ability to respond quickly to new opportunities.

Key objectives of the campaign are to raise:

  • $142 million in support for students
  • $189 million in support for faculty
  • $138 million in support for facilities
  • $201 million in support for research and new initiatives
  • $30 million in unrestricted gifts
  • $150 million in annual and sustaining support for all UI programs

Some featured priorities of Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University include:

  • Establishing 350 new university-wide endowed student scholarships
  • Creating at least 100 new endowed faculty chairs and professorships
  • Generating significantly more university-wide unrestricted support
  • Significantly increasing the size of the UI's permanent endowment
  • Funding and building several important new campus facilities, including:
  • Art and Art History Building
  • Pomerantz Center for career development and student services
  • Journalism and Mass Communication Building
  • Biomedical research and education facilities
  • Myron and Jacqueline N. Blank Honors Center
  • Dey House addition for Iowa Writers' Workshop
  • The UI Athletics Hall of Fame and Visitors Center, and the Athletic/Recreation Facilities complex
  • The Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences
  • The Lucille A. Carver River Research and Education Facility

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to all areas of the university. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its web site at