Ninety-two percent of fundraising for the Vision in Action Initiative’s science centers is complete, according to Jim Orr.
Orr, vice president for advancement, said the university is waiting on $3 million to be committed. Regardless, though, he said the fundraising is doing well in the 11 months since the initiative began.
“We’re really close to completing the funding on that. Sometimes those last few dollars are some of the most difficult to raise,” he said. “ But at the same time, we’ve got a number of opportunities that we’re pursuing right now that we feel good about and are confident we’ll get to that finish line pretty soon,” he said.
By Aug. 28, the Office of Advancement had fundraised $19 million for the science centers, in addition to the original $35 donation, and was 75 percent done, according to the Optimist.
In the same article, the Board of Trustees policy stated that in order to begin construction, the university would have to raise the complete funds of the project.
However, the Vision in Action initiative’s funds were not committed in full before the renovation of Bennett Gymnasium, the exterior demolition of Walling for the Onstead Science Center and the construction of the track/soccer stadium.
“Those two things were started before the fundraising for the total project had been completed. However, the funds for completing those portions of the project, for which the ground has been broken, were already raised,” Orr said. “So was how the Board went about approving those projects.”
Since then, through a multi-channeled effort of calling, sending letters, emailing and face-to-face solicitation, the office for advancement has drawn closer to the goal amount.
“A lot of it is just making people aware of what you’re doing,” Orr said. “Fundraising is largely about making sure people understand what you’re doing, showing them benefits of the projects and helping them to understand the impact it’ll have across campus and in the lives of our students.”
As for the Wildcat Stadium and Anthony Field, Orr said fundraising is just shy of $30 million, but he and the Office of Advancement are continuing their hard work on the initiative.
He said he is hoping to see the grand opening of Bennett Gymnasium soon, as well as the track/soccer stadium.
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