Ambitious goal announced at campaign launch
The Michigan Difference campaign leaders ended months of suspense May 14 by announcing the most ambitious fund-raising goal in the University's history: $2.5 billion. With $1.281 billion raised to date in the so-called quiet phase of fund-raising, the University has reached 51 percent of its goalnearing the total raised in the last major campaign.
"The goal we have set is not a small number," President Mary Sue Coleman told more than 1,200 alumni and friends gathered in Rackham Auditorium for the kickoff. "This goal is extraordinary, because our donors believe in supporting an extraordinary university."
Coleman said there is much work to be done during the next four years of the campaign, but said she is heartened by the generosity of U-M supporters.
"We are all here because we love Michigan," she said. "Your loyalty is unlike anything I have experienced in higher education, and it is because of that dedication that I am confident we will achieve success in our campaign."
During the quiet phase, launched in 2000, U-M alumni and friends contributed $1.094 billion in cash and pledges and $187 million in bequests (gifts left in a will, payable upon the death of the donor). The total raised in the last campaign that ran from 1992-97 was $1.4 billion.
The Michigan Difference is focused on enhancing the University's core academic mission and includes support for scholarships, professorships, programs and facilities. Objectives include raising:
• $400 million for student scholarships and fellowships
• $425 million for faculty support
• $625 million for programs and research
• $500 million for facilities
• $150 million for labs, infrastructure and discretionary support.
"We are a university with a remarkable history of forward thinking, and it is our responsibility to provide greater opportunities to the students and faculty who come after us," Coleman said.
Former President Gerald R. Ford and wife Betty will serve as honorary chairs of the campaign. Ford, a 1935 graduate, is the namesake of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
"We are proud to lend our support and commitment to this effort that will make a difference to students and faculty now and in the future, and in turn to the state, the nation and the world," Ford said in a statement released at the kickoff.
"As a leader in previous campaigns forthe University, I have seen over and over that our donors have always provided a substantial margin of excellence, making the difference between a good university and a great public institution," Ford said.
Honorary co-chairs for the campaign are William Davidson, Allan Gilmour, Ingrid and Donald Graham, Nicki and J. Ira Harris, Ann Lurie, Margaret (Ranny) and John Riecker, Bo Schembechler, Joan and Preston Tisch, Mike Wallace, and Helen and Sam Zell.
Vice-chairs are Bob Brown, Stanley Frankel, David Frey, Doreen Hermelin, Barrie Loeks, Waltraud Prechter, Joel Tauber, Marshall Weinberg and Robert Wood.
Co-chairs are Maxine Frankel, Michael Jandernoa, William Pickard, Sandy Robertson, Richard Rogel, Stephen Ross and Penny Stamps.
"This goal will make us a stronger, mightier Michigan," Rogel
said when announcing the target. "This goal will make the difference
in the future of this great University.