UVM, Fogel’s Campaign Hits $126 Million

While standing on stage strumming a guitar to find just the right key, President Daniel Fogel announced with a grin on his face,

“My wife Rachel would be here but she was afraid of utter humiliation.”

The crowd burst into a barrage of laughter and applause as Fogel belted out an abreviated version of Patsy Cline’s classic, “Crazy”.

As it turns out, Fogel is anything but crazy as many of the 300 guest at the Sheraton Hotel Conference Center found out late Saturday night at the “Kick Up Your Heels for UVM” event. It was there that he announced that his fund-raising campaign for UVM with a $250 million goal by 2007 is more than 50% completed. Up until this point the fund-raising has been done strictly privately by Fogel and his staff and from here on out it will done publicly.

Much of this goal was reached due to a generous $15 million donation recently given as the largest gift in UVM history, from Steve and Beverly Rubenstein of New Vernon, N.J. and their family. Steve was

a member of the class of 1961. Due to the Rubenstein’s donation the School of Environmental and Natural Resources will be named in their honor.

“The university will be eternally grateful to the Rubensteins for their extraordinary generosity,” said Fogel. “UVM is well on its way to becoming the nation’s pre-eminent environmental university. Steve

and Beverly understand that to fully achieve that lofty distinction, we need the help of our friends. We could not be more appreciative of their support of the university’s priorities and of their remarkable and

ongoing generosity.”

The campaign, which is two years old now, has reached the financial half-way point five months ahead of schedule. This was made possible in large part by the Rubenstein family and 25 or so other donors

and many small benefactors who donated to the university.

At approximately 11 pm Fogel got in stage and spoke of the campaign in detail.

“The campaign is about raising private funds from people who feel connected and have a lot of pride towards the University,” he said.

He also spoke about the distribution of the eventual $250 million amongst the university. $105 million will go to the student scholarships and scholars to ensure that instaters and out of staters can keep

coming to UVM without fear of shocking tuition increases and to keep the level of academics as high as possible. $90 million will go to the faculty for research with $10 million of that going to support

research and teaching the life sciences. $14 million will go to a new student union building which will be completed by the fall of 2007 which will be located in the library parking lot and will include an

on-campus pub. $5 million will also go to athletic teams and programs.

This comes in the wake UVM’s new website launch which dons a new fresher look to appeal to the incoming potential student. These students, he emphasized in his speech, were the most important things

to be paying attention to as he believes are the most integral part of the “Greatness within our grasp” catch phrase. Second only to the students in this new outlook, he said, was the faculty of the university.

The evening itself was set to the mood of celebration as Fogel meandered through the crowd chatting with various members of the Student Government Association and other guests. It was highlighted by a

lip sync contest with a $1350 prize purse where the UVM Top Cats gave a performance that stole the show to the tune of Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top. A live band played cover songs and encouraged a

crowd of young enthusiastic UVM club members to other guests 50 years their senior to get out on the dance floor and “kick up your heels for UVM.”

The evening was wrapped up with Fogel playing and singing a few verses of “Crazy” while the dance floor filled with couples for one last dance.