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Campaign for Carolina begins historic fundraiser to improve arts, scholarships

UNC launched “For All Kind: The Campaign for Carolina” today with a kickoff event in Polk Place. A fundraising campaign aiming to raise $4.25 billion by the end of 2022, Campaign for Carolina marks the largest campaign in the school’s history and the second largest among public universities in the country. Its goals are, among other things, to eliminate financial barriers to education and improve the arts at UNC. 

Here’s how the fundraiser affects students. 

The four key priorities of Campaign for Carolina

Campaign for Carolina aims to make changes in curriculum and teaching methods and provide access to global experiences and experiential learning; to support faculty to recruit and retain world class professoriate; and to increase innovation and impact to improve research and modernize buildings and spaces. 

The fourth and final priority is the group of three pan-university “Signature Initiatives” that will be funded by the campaign: The Carolina Edge, Arts Everywhere and The Institute for Convergent Science.

Chancellor Carol Folt called The Carolina Edge initiative the biggest one of the campaign. It’s focused on eliminating financial barriers to education, and the University wants to raise $1 billion to go toward student scholarships.

The initiative would give money to both undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships. It would also endow the Carolina Covenant and Chancellor’s Science Scholars programs and add to scholarships for middle-income students and merit-based scholarships. In addition, it would grow aid for athletes and graduate and professional students. Folt said Carolina is currently ranked third nationally in economic diversity, but they want to be first.

“We want to make sure that cost and debt are not limiting factors for any student to come to this special, exciting University,” Folt said.

The second initiative, Arts Everywhere, will bring the arts to all parts of campus both academically and physically. Folt said it is about increasing the visibility of arts on campus and integrating them into all departments of learning. 

“This one started with a dream and it started with a belief. The dream is that the arts should be shared by everyone,” Folt said. 

The initiative hopes to raise $350 million in donations. This includes the gift of the Rembrandt collection to the Ackland, a donation made to Playmakers Repertory Company, the renovations made to Hill Hall and last semester’s spinning tops.  

The Institute of Convergent Science is the Campaign for Carolina’s program for progress in the STEM fields. The $450 million initiative will bring together multiple fields in both physical and life sciences. Folt said they have big goals for expanding the University’s research programs to beyond the lab. 

“Truthfully we have a bigger goal, we want to see Carolina become a $2 million research enterprise,” Folt said. 

The initiative will include creating activity hubs, expanding the angel investment fund and increasing legal support and business planning for start-ups. 

Ackland Art Museum receives donations worth over $58 million

The Ackland Art Museum is looking toward the future. With art donations totaling over $58 million, their goal of becoming one of the premier public university art museums may become a reality. 

This donation included three collections given to the museum, bringing artists like William de Kooning, Alex Katz and Joan Mitchell to the halls of the Ackland. These collections, valued at $41.5 million in total, will bring them closer to their $250 million fundraising goal.

Folt and museum director Katie Ziglar praised the generosity of the donors and spoke excitedly about the museum’s future. 

“Every great university has a great art museum,” Ziglar said. “It is our goal to become the preeminent local research university art museum in the United States.” 

To kick off the campaign, UNC graduates John and Marree Townsend committed $50 million to support arts, humanities, business and athletics.

Their donation will give $25 million in works of art to the Ackland Art Museum, $10 million to the College of Arts & Sciences, $10 million to the Kenan-Flagler Business School and over $1 million to Carolina Athletics.

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“We can’t be the best public university if we don’t lead in the arts,” John Townsend said during the campaign launch announcement. “It’s a thrill to be a part of this, but it’s not about us. It’s about the University of North Carolina.”

Townsend concluded his speech by asking members of the audience to embrace the challenge and join him in giving.

In fiscal year 2017, which concluded on June 30, 2017, UNC received $543.3 million in donor commitments. Campaign for Carolina would seek to almost double that amount each year.