The University of Richmond Advancement Office launched a 20-month, $150 million campaign Feb. 22 to fund new summer fellowships, scholarships and a new Center for Admission and Career Services.
The Campaign for Richmond: Fulfilling the Promise, was debuted at a dinner last Friday and is expected to fund the completion of President Ayers’ Richmond Promise by fall 2014. Tom Gutenberger, vice president for advancement, said that $115 million in donations had already been raised since July 2010, but a total of $150 million must be raised to complete the project.
“The thing that’s great about the campaign is that it is really focused on students and their experience at the university,” Gutenberger said. “The fellowship program will really make a difference in the experience of students, as well as increase applicants.”
With the help of anonymous donors, the Office of Advancement started the 100 for 1 Challenge: For every 100 donations, regardless of the amount, one additional summer fellowship opportunity will be created, Gutenberger said. The goal of the campaign is to fund 94 new fellowships, and 42 fellowships have already been created.
“Our goal is to show donors that every gift counts,” Gutenberger said, “and that their gift has a direct impact on students.”
As part of the summer fellowship program, senior Kadeem Fyffe traveled to four cities two summers ago to study fashion, he said.
“My summer experience served as a platform for all of the coursework that followed for the next two years,” Fyffe said, “ultimately leading me to my senior thesis as part of my Studio Art major.”
Another goal of the campaign is to increase funding for scholarships. Because Richmond is one of the few universities that admits students on a need-blind basis, gifts from alumni and other donors are important to scholarship funding, Gutenberger said.
The building for the new Center for Admission and Career Services will be on River Road. It will house the offices of Admission, Financial Aid and Career Services, and will be the new “front door” of campus and the first stop for prospective students, Gutenberger said.
By having these offices all in one building, “applicants will be able to see Wall Street firms, Teach for America and other consulting firms coming in and interviewing students,” he said.
Dean of Admissions Gil Villanueva said: “Because the competition for the best and brightest students has intensified dramatically and because many families spend a good amount of time in admission offices, having spaces that leave lasting impressions make sense.”
Much of The Richmond Promise, which was started in 2009, has already been completed, including the additions of E. Claiborne Robins Stadium, Queally Hall at the Robins School of Business and the Carole Weinstein International Center. Other programs started by the Promise include UR Downtown and community-based learning in the classroom, according to an Office of Advancement news release.
Contact staff reporter Rhiannon Bell at email@example.com