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Published: Monday, 7/28/2008

University of Toledo tops $100M fund-raising goal

Jacobs hails milestone; campaign ahead of schedule

The University of Toledo has announced that its six-year, $100 million fund-raising drive has reached its goal five months ahead of schedule.

The university s capital campaign has raised more than $102 million since late 2002, including several multimillion-dollar gifts.

More than 40,000 people have donated during the drive, which officially ends Dec. 31.

This is a real milestone, UT President Lloyd Jacobs said. It speaks to the tremendous rapidity of the growth in our reputation and strength as a nationally recognized institution.

The drive passed the $100 million mark June 27 with a $2 million donation by Dr. Julius Jacobson, a New York City-based surgeon and UT alum.

Dr. Jacobson donated the money for collaborative research between UT s main campus and the UT Health Science Campus, formerly the Medical College of Ohio.

Dr. Jacobson, one of the fathers of microsurgery, said he hopes the money will foster collaboration between disciplines, allowing for the development of completely new approaches to medicine.

I thought my generation was very exciting, with open heart surgery and organ transplants and so on. But this next generation is going to be the most exciting, he said.

UT s focus on fund-raising follows a national trend in which public universities seek private support to supplement flagging government funding.

According to data compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education, about 25 U.S. universities are in the middle of campaigns for $1 billion or more. Eleven of them are public schools.

Though UT s goal was more modest, the university has faced budget cuts just like the ones incurred by large flagship universities across the country.

Additional funding for the medical college excluded, the state s instruction allocation to UT fell from $79.9 million in 2003 to $76.7 million in 2007 before new Gov. Ted Strickland increased the allocation to $81.6 million for this year.

But that s without inflation.

According to the Consumer Price Index, the 2003 allocation of $79.9 million would be worth more than $90 million in today s dollars, meaning UT has faced a significant drop in the purchasing power provided by its state funding, even with this year s increase.

Vern Snyder, UT s vice president for institutional advancement, said officials started the campaign s quiet phase by contacting hundreds of potential donors in late 2002.

The university publicly announced the campaign in September, 2006, after raising $60 million of the $100 million, much of it from several large donations.

Among those large gifts was $15 million in May, 2006, from billionaire Marvin Herb and his wife, Judith Daso Herb.

The gift, directed toward the college of education, is the largest in UT history.

Annual cash contributions to the university increased steadily each year over the course of the campaign, rising from $5.9 million in the 2003 fiscal year, when the campaign began, to $23.1 million in the 2008 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

About one quarter of the $102 million will go to student aid, and another quarter will go to faculty and staff programs. Most of the remaining funds will go toward athletics, equipment, endowed chairs, professorships, and research.

Among the most visible results of the campaign will be the $30 million renovation currently under way at Savage Hall, home of UT s basketball teams.

About $18 million from the campaign, including a $5 million gift from Chuck and Jackie Sullivan, will go toward that project.

Another major donation came from businessman Bob Savage and his wife, Susan, who gave a combined $1.4 million toward the $15.4 million Savage & Associates

Complex for Business Learning and Engagement currently under construction on the main campus.

The building, named after Mr. Savage s financial services company, is scheduled to open in fall of 2009.

Though the fund-raising campaign has reached its goal, UT development officials hope to raise more money before the end of the year.

Mr. Snyder, who functions as the university s head fund-raiser, has a large white board in his office on which he keeps track of the dozens of projects for which UT s schools and colleges are seeking private support. Some of them would cost upward of $5 million.

In order to fund those projects, UT might start planning another fund-raising campaign within a year or two, Mr. Snyder said.

I d love to take a vacation, but I think Dr. Jacobs has more in mind, he said. We re still thinking further down the road.

Gabe Nelson



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