Major fundraising campaign kicks off

Crowds fill the Davis Center to listen to the UVM Foundation’s fundraising announcement Oct. 2. President Sullivan is at the podium. OLIVER POMAZI/The Vermont Cynic
Crowds fill the Davis Center to listen to the UVM Foundation’s fundraising announcement Oct. 2. President Sullivan is at the podium. OLIVER POMAZI/The Vermont Cynic

President Tom Sullivan announced the largest fundraising campaign in UVM history on Oct. 2 

“Move Mountains: The Campaign for The University of Vermont,”  is a $500 million fundraising initiative designed to turn “passion into excellence” on campus.

“We are no longer going to be so quiet about our accomplishments,” Sullivan said, before announcing the large fundraising goal which is meant to be an investment in not just UVM, but the citizens of Vermont. The campaign will establish more endowed professorships, student scholarships, state-of-the-art facilities as well as expand existing programs and research, Rick Green, executive director of communications for the UVM Foundation, said.

Along with enhancing campus facilities through projects like the STEM Complex, UVM will also be partnering with the University of Vermont Medical Center to help foster economic growth in Vermont through increased jobs and research, according to the UVM Foundation. Combined, UVM and the Medical Center employ the most people in Vermont, Green said.

There is an opportunity to really elevate this place through the goals of the campaign,” Green said.

McAneny was vocal in her appreciation of financial support from many faculty and staff of the University. The campaign has already received 100 percent participation from donors, including the board of trustees, UVM Foundation, deans from every college and SGA. Roughly $247 million of the $500 million goal has already been raised, McAneny said.

“The campaign, which will reshape UVM and propel us into the future is about investing in the people who make UVM great,” McAneny said.”

She also reiterated the campaign’s goal of doubling the number of endowed professorships at UVM.

Endowed professorships  are professorships  where the money for that professor has come from a donation, and that professor’s salary either comes from the principle donation or the interest made off of the donation.

Of the money raised for the “Move Mountains” initiative, 60 percent will be spent on endowed chairs and professorships, as well as increased scholarships for students, Sullivan said. With this money, Sullivan hopes that “no student is denied access to the great doors of this University.”

“I kind of just stumbled upon the announcement while walking through the Davis Center, but it was really cool,” sophomore Erin Okrant said. “I’m really proud to go to a school that is willing to invest so much in its students and faculty.”

Sullivan also announced the largest single donation in the history of UVM: a $20 million contribution to the UVM school of business by Steven Grossman, a graduate of the class of 1961 and former CEO of Southern Container Corp., according to the UVM Foundation. This donation to the newly renamed Grossman School of Business will fund three endowed academic positions and provide resources to the school with the goal of elevating the undergraduate business program nationally.

“I hope this donation helps make my degree more valuable,” junior business major Kristen Roche said. “I’ve always felt like I was receiving a rigorous education at UVM, and hopefully this campaign will help reflect the quality of learning we get here.”


A version of this article appeared in an Oct. 7 issue of the Vermont Cynic on page 1 with the title: Fundraising initiative begins