UA Fundraising Campaign Raises $1.45B

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The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville said its eight-year Campaign Arkansas fundraising project raised nearly $1.45 billion.

The project began July 1, 2012, with a goal of $1 billion and was announced publicly in the fall of 2016 when the goal was raised to $1.25 billion. The university said more than 123,000 people contributed.

The campaign got a big boost when the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation made the largest donation, a $194.7 million pledge for the Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research in mid-July. William T. Dillard II donated $10 million to support the university’s accounting department, which was renamed after his father, Dillard’s Inc. founder William Dillard.

“We realize many of our fellow Arkansans and others around the country are facing difficulty at this moment,” UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said in a news release. “We hope to be able to do our part in helping students and their families overcome their financial obstacles, support faculty who are involved in innovative research, restore economic development for our region and our state, and offer vital programs on campus to keep our students on track for success, all thanks to Campaign Arkansas.”

The university said the money has been earmarked for:

  • Student scholarships and academic programs (37%),
  • Capital improvements (32%) and
  • Faculty and staff support (25%).

The university said 24% of donations came from corporations and 22% came from individuals. Nearly half of the donations (47%) were from foundations; private pledges are designated for specific uses, which the university tries to merge with its campus priorities.

The campaign was led by a 128-person steering committee headed by a 12-person executive committee. Co-chairs, who served in one- or two-year terms, included J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. co-founder Johnelle Hunt, Walmart Inc. CEO Doug McMillon, Dillard’s CEO William T. Dillard II and First Security Bancorp. Chairman and CEO Reynie Rutledge.