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Updated 10:00 AM February 2, 2009




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Final tally: The Michigan Difference raises $3.2 billion

It's official. The final amount raised for The Michigan Difference, the most successful fundraising campaign in U-M history, is $3,200,733,103.

The campaign, which was launched publicly in May 2004 and officially ended Dec. 31, exceeded its $2.5 billion goal by 28 percent. The final sum is believed to be the largest amount ever raised by a public university.

The support of some 365,000 donors has enabled the University to greatly increase student financial aid, create new student programs, hire and retain outstanding faculty, support groundbreaking research, and provide new buildings for health care, teaching, arts and entertainment, and more.

President Mary Sue Coleman has long spoken of the value of philanthropy, saying it "plays an increasingly important role in enabling Michigan to fund not the extras, but the essentials for our students, faculty and staff, and the society we serve. While the economy and public funding sources fluctuate, donors' gifts keep Michigan accessible to scholars from a range of backgrounds, populate our classrooms and labs with outstanding faculty, fund exemplary programs and research and build state-of-the-art facilities."

The Michigan Difference was chosen as the name of the campaign to illustrate the unique nature of the University's teaching, research and public service. In setting priorities for the campaign, U-M's 19 colleges and schools, three campuses and numerous other units collaborated to define five themes that express core activities across the institution: fulfilling the promise of science and technology, enriching the student experience, inspiring a life of arts and culture, advancing health and society's well-being, and preparing leaders for the local and global community.

Here is a sample of the Michigan Difference and the impact made by donors:

• $519 million available for student support, including 1,969 new endowed scholarships valued at $260 million, generating $10 million for students in fiscal year 2008.

• 185 new endowed professorships, a 67 percent increase.

• 22 building projects, 20 of which are completed or under construction, including the Ross School of Business, Ford School's Weill Hall, Lurie Biomedical Engineering Building, Mott Children's Hospital and Women's Hospital, Depression Center's Rachel Upjohn Building, Walgreen Drama Center/Stamps Auditorium, Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex, and the expansion of the Kelsey Museum and Museum of Art.

For more information about the Michigan Difference, go to

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