campus map campus directory The University of Utah Home Page
Students    Future Students     Faculty & Staff     Alumni & Visitors

About Continuum Advertising Advisory Committee Archives Contact Us Continuum Home Faculty/Staff Subscribe

related websites

Alumni Association Marketing & Communications University of Utah Home


Together We Reach

The U announces its most comprehensive campaign ever.

By Amy Albo and Christopher Nelson

For more than 150 years, the University of Utah has been educating generations of students, producing cutting edge research, and serving as an economic engine for the Intermountain West. As a result, the state's flagship institution now ranks as one of the nation's premier research universities-renowned for its spirit, innovation, creativity, and leadership. Always looking forward, the U now begins a new chapter, under the banner Together We Reach: The Campaign for the University of Utah. This new installment in the U of U saga is, quite simply, a celebration of people and their dreams-a comprehensive fund-raising campaign with a goal of $1.2 billion to secure the U of U's future and lay the foundation for the decades ahead.

Where Will the Money Go?

The funds raised during the campaign will help the University advance its strategic mission in five core areas:

Engaging Students

Students of exceptional caliber and preparation belong at the University of Utah. Gifts to fund additional scholarships and fellowships will have an enormous impact on the U's ability to attract the state's and the nation's most qualified undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals. Students who receive need-based or merit-based financial aid can focus more intently on their studies, their research, and their college experience. They can fully engage as active members of our campus community and graduate from the University prepared to transform the world.

Elevating Research

Support for faculty, in the form of endowed chairs and professorships, brings some of the world's most brilliant minds to the U's laboratories, studios, and lecture halls. It supports the institution's ability to bring the best high-tech medical and research teams to the University through the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative. Funding for student research opportunities and entrepreneurial studies allows undergraduates as well as more experienced students to work alongside master teachers and performers, and to learn directly from them the value of scholarly collaboration.

Expanding Global Outlook

Because the world's most pressing problems don't stop at the border of any nation, it is increasingly important for students and faculty to actively participate in global networks and to have increased access to international researchers, businesses, and government agencies. Gifts that support interdisciplinary centers focused on specific geographic regions of the world will open the door to broad ranges of new scholarly research. Gifts to fund scholarships and fellowships for international students will provide them with opportunities to work alongside the U's outstanding faculty and researchers and, consequently, to create new opportunities for international collaboration. And gifts that enhance language study, international research, service, and study-abroad experiences will give University of Utah students opportunities to live, work, and collaborate with new people in new places.

Enhancing Our Learning Environment

Encouraging a vibrant campus community-one that fosters collaboration and engagement-is about more than just people and programs; it's also about the physical space-the libraries, labs, classrooms, and studios where interactions take place. Gifts that fund facilities projects will help create dramatic new spaces that encourage interaction and collaboration among faculty and students. For example, the U is building physical links between the Health Sciences and Main Campus areas by creating a research corridor anchored by the new Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) complex.

Enriching Our Community

The University contributes in myriad ways to the quality of life enjoyed by people throughout Utah-by creating educated leaders and informed citizens; stimulating economic development; providing world class health care; training the professionals who design the buildings and transportation infrastructure; and enhancing the region's cultural offerings. The U of U reaches out to families and young people who might not have considered college a possibility and encourages them to think of a University of Utah education as a realistic and attainable goal. The U's efforts to become more deeply integrated into the community are assisted, in large part, by the numerous community-based service learning opportunities offered by the Bennion Center and University Neighborhood Partners, among others-opportunities that will continue to be developed and expanded.

FAQs about the Campaign for the University of Utah

What is a comprehensive campaign?

A comprehensive fund-raising campaign is, by its nature, broad in scope and addresses the highest priorities of the University as a whole, as well as individual school, college, and unit goals. It involves virtually every part of campus.

When did the campaign begin, and when will it end?

Together We Reach: The Campaign for the University of Utah began its "silent phase" in July of 2005. The public launch of the campaign was held October 25, 2008. The campaign is scheduled for completion in 2013.

How much money has been raised so far?

Like many other institutions around the country, the University of Utah conducted a silent phase of the campaign in advance of the public announcement. This allowed the University to launch the campaign with momentum and to encourage alumni and friends of the University to support an already successful effort. Since the beginning of the campaign, the University of Utah has raised more than $550 million (as of October 1, 2008).

What are the priorities of the Together We Reach campaign?

The campaign priorities focus on five key themes:

  • Engaging Our Students
  • Elevating Our Research
  • Expanding Our Global Outlook
  • Enhancing Our Learning Environment
  • Enriching Our Community

How were campaign priorities determined?

University of Utah faculty, staff, deans, and directors helped determine the University's fund-raising priorities as part of a comprehensive planning process that involved extensive discussion with members of the community. Goals for the campaign were established by President Young in consultation with the University's senior administrative officers and loyal supporters.

Who gives to the campaign and how much?

In fiscal year 2008 alone, more than 26,000 donors supported the University of Utah. These donors included alumni, friends, faculty, staff, students, businesses, and foundations who believe in the University and want to make a lasting impact on its future. Gifts and commitments have ranged from $25 to $1 million and above. Every gift, no matter its amount, is important to the success of the campaign.

Where does the money go?

Donors generally make investments in the areas of greatest interest to them-whether it be a favorite college or program, scholarships, endowed faculty positions, or support for athletics or the arts. There are more than 6,300 established gift funds from which to choose, and in some cases, a donor may elect to create a new fund.

Why a campaign? Why now?

Together We Reach provides an occasion to celebrate the accomplishments of University of Utah faculty, staff, students, and alumni. It also provides an incentive to invest in people and programs that will transform the University over the coming years. While the University of Utah will always rely on state support and tuition for its overall operation, many transformational opportunities-opportunities that help create an inspiring environment of accomplishment and success-are made possible because of generous private support.

What were the outcomes of previous comprehensive fund-raising campaigns?

  • Campaign for Utah: Touching A Nation (1985-1990)$207,000,000
  • The Sesquicentennial Campaign: Generations of Excellence (1994-2000) $769,800,000

Who manages fund-raising efforts at the University of Utah?

Senior administrators from the president and vice presidents to deans and directors actively direct fund-raising efforts in their respective areas. The University's development office is under the direction of Fred C. Esplin, vice president for Institutional Advancement. In addition to the fund-raising staff in the Central Development Office, development professionals are part of the staff in almost every department, school, and college throughout campus.

Where can I find more information on the campaign?

Visit the Together We Reach campaign Web site:

Lorris Betz
David Pershing

Q&A: Senior Vice President for Health Sciences Lorris Betz & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David Pershing

How will the Together We Reach campaign provide opportunities for the U to expand its global outlook?

Pershing: One of the key ways that we are expanding our global outlook is by providing more opportunities for U of U students to spend time abroad as part of their education. This can be from as little as two weeks in an intensive session to a full semester. The major obstacle to this is the lack of resources-few of our students have the financial support for a study-abroad experience. One of the goals of the comprehensive campaign is to raise private funds to match a new student fee and thereby allow many more students to have a unique experience in the country of their choice. Additionally, we are seeking private support for several faculty research centers and institutes whose focus is on global issues. The Asian Center, the Institute of Public and International Administration, and the new Global Justice Center are examples of these research efforts.

How will the campaign help recruit and retain the best and brightest students and faculty at the U?

Pershing: At the present time, many Utah students select their college based primarily on economics, in part because they are often funding their education themselves. The comprehensive campaign will seek first-year and transfer-student scholarships, which will allow us to encourage students to come to the University as soon as they are ready, rather than starting at Salt Lake Community College or remaining at Utah Valley University because [their] tuition is lower. We believe that students who spend a higher fraction of their time at the U are more likely to obtain the rich and engaged education the U can provide.

Betz: Top-tier universities strive to attract the top faculty and students, and they compete among themselves for the brightest and best. To be successful in recruiting at this level and retaining the great faculty we already have, we must be competitive in the salaries, the research support, and the facilities that we provide. For students, the availability of a major scholarship is often the reason they choose one great school over another. Through the comprehensive campaign, we will grow the resources needed to recruit and support the very best faculty and students.

How will the comprehensive campaign position the U for growth and success in the future?

Pershing: A major part of the comprehensive campaign is focused on the construction of new buildings and the renovation of existing ones. These projects will provide much needed high-tech, multimedia teaching spaces, and new instructional and research laboratories, which are essential to the long-term growth and success of the U. In addition, we will seek funding for the support of centers and institutes that house our interdisciplinary research activities.

Betz: The comprehensive campaign will literally launch the future of this great university. Our sights are set high. Our goals are inspiring. With the support of the community, we can elevate the University to be among the elite public schools in the country.

Return to Winter 2008-09 table of contents | Back to top

On Oct. 25, the University of Utah launched its capital campaign Together We Reach at an event attended by more than 1,100 of the University's most loyal and enthusiastic supporters. Seventeen donors of $5 million or more since the beginning of the campaign were recognized and an extremely generous leadership gift of $15 million to name the James L. Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building was announced during the campaign kickoff celebration.

Return to Winter 2008-09 table of contents | Back to top

Giving Back
By Teresa Beck BS'76 MBA'93

As an undergraduate at the University of Utah, I lived off-campus, worked three jobs, and didn't have time to get involved in campus activities; my memories of those years are of trying to support myself and get through college. And as a student in the mid-'70s, I had no idea what the opportunities were for me as a woman graduate in business. As it turns out, I was the first woman to stay at Ernst & Ernst, a public accounting firm, for more than four weeks-in fact, I remained there for four years! That led to other positions, as controller of a San Francisco company and, eventually, as president of a $20 billion retail company.

I started my MBA at the U in 1991, and although I was working full time in a senior management position, I was able to engage with other students and my professors, and that really made the experience enjoyable. It also broadened my views on business, management, and organizational behaviors. Through the MBA program I became better acquainted with the school and was eventually invited to serve on the David Eccles School of Business Advisory Board, as well as on the National Advisory Council, a group of active and emeritus members who advise the U's president on key issues.

My serving in those capacities has exposed me to diverse aspects of the business school and the University campus. I have worked with wonderful, dedicated staff and other volunteer leaders who are helping shape the future of this great University.

I started giving to the University through the Crimson Club, and after several years was asked if I would sponsor an athlete. I thought it sounded fun, so I said yes. I have thoroughly enjoyed a long friendship with my first sponsored student, gymnast Melissa Vituj. I attended her wedding in Michigan a few weeks ago, and I have continued to give annual gifts to sponsor other Utah student-athletes over the years.

For me, volunteering and giving to areas across campus are "feel-good" experiences. It feels good to be part of a bigger cause and to help make a difference. It feels good to know that I have helped students by making their lives a little easier and have touched them via a shared experience. It feels good to meet other people who have a passion for education, students, sports, the arts, and every other activity that goes on at the U. It feels good to be able to share my good fortune and to put it to work in making the University, and the community, a better place. It feels good to give.

Return to Winter 2008-09 table of contents | Back to top