UNF President John Delaney Friday night launched the public phase of an ambitious $110 million capital campaign designed to transform the University and the lives of students who attend it.
Called The Power of Transformation, the campaign has already raised more than $60 million during its quiet phase, including two $1 million gifts from the campaign co-chairs, W. Radford Lovett II and Russell B Newton III. Both lead gifts will be devoted to scholarships and Transformational Learning Opportunities, which are among the main goals of the campaign.
Delaney told the nearly 400 donors, including alumni, friends, community volunteers, faculty and staff who attended the campaign kickoff event at the UNF Arena, that the gifts by Lovett and Newton illustrate the level of community commitment to the campaign and to the University.
"Both Rad and Rusty are far more than generous donors. They have both been involved in the UNF Foundation for many years in positions of leadership," Delaney said. "Their willingness to step forward to lead this campaign epitomizes their selfless dedication to UNF and to the community. We know their actions will inspire the success of our campaign."
The Lovett family gift will enhance the previously established Katherine H. Lovett Endowed Scholarship Fund, created in honor of Lovett's mother. A special part of this scholarship will fund Transformational Learning Opportunities such as study abroad and undergraduate research.
Similarly, Newton and his wife, Kathy, are devoting 100 percent of their most recent gift to scholarships. Specifically, they are contributing to the First Generation Scholarship Program, The Jacksonville Commitment and the Ann C. Hicks Merit Scholarship.
Lovett and Newton are being joined by two prominent Jacksonville couples who have been stalwart supporters of UNF and who have agreed to be the honorary co-chairs of The Power of Transformation. Blanche and Luther Coggin along with Ann and David Hicks are lending their support to the campaign. Luther Coggin, who is a member of the UNF Board of Trustees, and his wife, Blanche, previously donated $5 million during the University's first campaign Access to Excellence. The University's Coggin College of Business was named in their honor. Ann and David Hicks were co-chairs of Access to Excellence and contributed more than $3 million to the campaign. Both couples utilized the state of Florida's Matching Gift Program, which doubled their gifts.
"These four individuals are outstanding examples of leaders who have served this community in so many ways. We are honored for the support they have provided to us in the past and look forward to their insight and wisdom in the future," Delaney said.
Other donors recognized during the evening were the Bernard Osher Foundation for its $1 million gift establishing the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in the Division of Continuing Education.
The Power of Transformation campaign will build on the success of Access to Excellence. That campaign from 1997 to 2003 set out to raise $65 million for the University. The campaign eventually raised more than $100 million from 11,000 donors including 25 gifts of $1 million or more. Among other accomplishments, the successful campaign created more than 180 new scholarships for UNF students.
Delaney said The Power of Transformation will provide significantly more scholarship assistance at a time of great need among students. "These scholarships are important in their own right because we are striving to increase the number of Florida residents who have a four-year degree. In a larger sense, however, these scholarships are critical if Florida is to take its place in a knowledge-based global economy."
The specific priorities/goals of The Power of Transformation campaign are as follows:
Student Scholarships - $29.5 million
To continue funding for The Jacksonville Commitment, First Generation Scholarships and other forms of financial assistance
Graduate Fellowships - $5.95 million
To encourage motivated professionals to pursue advanced studies in fields essential to the economy of our region
Faculty Support - $20.6 million
To enhance the ability to recruit and retain talented faculty providing individual attention and quality academics for our students
Academic Enhancements - $28.67 million
To enable departments throughout the University to fulfill UNF's mission of providing excellent undergraduate and graduate programs, centers and institutes with transformational experiences in this country and abroad
Capital Projects - $25.3
To assure new campus buildings and educational tools critical to maintaining a stimulating learning environment for an ever-growing student populationriorities
Delaney said being in a global economy means UNF must provide the educated workforce of tomorrow to stimulate innovation and capital creation and break the reliance on a primarily service-related economy.
"We can't afford to waste another year, another month, even another day while the rest of the world catches up or even bypasses us in technological leadership and entrepreneurship," Delaney said. "For our children and our children's children, we must harness The Power of Transformation."
For more information about the campaign, visit www.unf.edu/wetransform.