Unite the best minds with top resources, and big problems get solved. That’s the goal for the $3 billion Go Greater campaign.
The University of Florida has undertaken the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history, with money raised earmarked for everything from scholarships for first-generation students to cures for diseases.
The $3 billion initiative — tagged Go Greater — is among the largest active campaigns for a public university and almost double the $1.72 billion raised during UF’s previous campaign, which concluded in 2012.
“The Go Greater campaign is about the people, the families and the communities the university serves, from Gainesville to around the globe,” President Kent Fuchs said. “It’s about generating the resources that will allow us to lead the nation’s premier universities in exceptional education, impactful research and far-reaching public engagement.”
Resources secured during the Go Greater campaign, which officially kicked off on Oct. 13, will be the catalyst necessary for the university to address some of society’s biggest challenges, UF officials said. Among those issues: improving cybersecurity, ensuring lasting global food and fresh water supplies, creating clean energies, combating emerging diseases, solving health issues like diabetes and obesity, and dealing with a rapidly changing natural environment.
Gifts made during the campaign will also strengthen the university’s role as an economic engine and trusted resource for people throughout the nation, President Fuchs said. Specific goals for the campaign include the creation of 200 more faculty endowments and 400 new scholarships, an investment in priority infrastructure and facilities, and strengthening UF’s national and global stature.
The $3 billion sought will bring UF’s endowment into line with many of its peer institutions. The campaign’s announcement follows UF’s No. 9 ranking on the 2018 U.S. News and World Report’s list of best national public universities.
The campaign kicked off with momentum. More than 500,000 gifts were received and $1.3 billion raised during the three-year lead-up, when some donors invested in UF to set the stage for the campaign’s public announcement. Some of those leadership commitments:
- $75 million from Miami couple Al and Judy Warrington, to enhance teaching and research in UF’s Warrington College of Business;
- $50 million from South Florida entrepreneur Herbert and Nicole Wertheim, to revolutionize engineering education and research;
- $32 million from Andrew and Pamela Banks, to create endowments that support faculty and scholarships for Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars; and,
- $16 million from South Carolina businesswoman Anita Zucker, to establish a center for early childhood studies, enhance brain discovery and support first-generation Opportunity Scholars.
The Go Greater campaign, the university’s fourth campaign since 1986, is expected to conclude in fall 2022.
“Never in the history of civilization have changes and opportunities been as abrupt or globally consequential — or as hopeful — as they are now,” said Zucker, the campaign’s volunteer chair for 2017–2018. “Our universities will the lead way in the 21st century, and the University of Florida is one of the most important, influential and impactful. Go Greater will enable us to meet those challenges — whatever they might be — head-on, with resolve and strength.”