UNCW reaches $65M goal nearly a year ahead of schedule - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

UNCW reaches $65M goal nearly a year ahead of schedule

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A fundraising campaign focused on increasing private contributions to UNCW ended on Thursday after Chancellor Gary L. Miller announced its $65 million goal was met and surpassed.

The "Soaring to Greatness" campaign was scheduled to end in December but donors helped the school reach the goal nearly a year ahead of schedule.

"This is a historic day for UNC Wilmington," Chancellor Gary L. Miller announced during a press conference. "We have raised nearly $66.4 million for UNCW – and we've done it a year ahead of schedule! What a great anniversary gift for a university that turns 65 years old this year."

Miller also stated that the planning and early fundraising for the campaign began in July 2005 with his predecessor, Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo.

"Given the global impact of the economic recession, I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the success of this campaign and the clear dedication of our donors and supporters to our university," Miller stated.

Private contributions were made to the university in these priority areas: student excellence, academic excellence, faculty excellence, regional and global engagement, the annual fund, and athletics. Donors also contributed more than $29 million to create 239 new scholarships, according to a news release. In addition, eight distinguished professorships were endowed.

Board of Trustees member and past chair Wendy Murphy spoke on behalf of the Board of Trustees during the conference.

"Our donors' campaign contributions show that they value the learning experiences, the economic opportunities, the research endeavors and the outreach activities that UNCW contributes to our region and to the state," she stated. "Our students and their success are the future of North Carolina."

The final and public phase began in February 2011. At that time, UNCW had reportedly raised nearly 89 percent of the campaign goal, or more than $57 million. The school will officially conclude the campaign on Jan. 31.

Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.

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