The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday December 10th

Kickoff Scheduled For Carolina First

By Kara Eide

Staff Writer

Officials have tentatively scheduled April 26 as the date to announce the total results of the Carolina First fund-raising campaign after an extended period of "quiet" fund raising.

The celebratory event, which also signifies the start of the public phase of the campaign, was originally going to take place Oct. 12 -- University Day -- but was postponed indefinitely after the events of Sept. 11.

Concerns about the economy and a desire to be sensitive after the tragedy prompted campaign officials to continue the campaign without the public announcement.

Carolina First, which began in July 1999, is a seven-year, $1.5 billion campaign that aims to raise money for all schools and programs at the University.

Chancellor James Moeser has said his goal is to use private donations to triple the $499 million the University has been allotted from the $3.1 billion higher education bond referendum passed in November 2000.

Moeser could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Speed Hallman, director of development communications, said the campaign has been going well during this extended quiet phase.

"We haven't seen a drop in contribution," he said. "We've actually seen some growth."

Hallman said that during fiscal year 2001, which extended from July 1, 2000, to June 30, 2001, the campaign raised $157 million in gifts and private grants. The total amount raised since the campaign began will be released at the official announcement of the campaign in April.

Despite the postponement of the official public announcement and celebratory campaign, Hallman said, expectations for donations did not decrease.

The needs of the University have not gone away but have become greater in light of recent events, he said. "We're moving full speed ahead."

But late April's public kickoff will not be identical to the kickoff event that was originally planned. Before Sept. 11, campaign officials had planned a big program in Memorial Hall to get people excited, Hallman said.

But he said officials now have decided on a different approach and have planned an event that will be more informational, letting the public know about the campaign's goals and progress so far.

In an effort to spark enthusiasm, officials also will be asking for more donors. "We'll celebrate our success to an extent and thank our donors," Hallman said.

The location for the event is undetermined as of now, but Hallman said he expects the chancellor, campaign volunteers, donors and the press to attend.

Donors to the Carolina First campaign still are able to give to any part of the University that interests them.

Rather than aggressively asking for money, Hallman said, the Carolina First campaign aims to engage donors and find out what is important to them at the University.

"We work with donors to help them find areas that they feel good about supporting."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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