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Thursday January 26th

Campaign for Carolina reaches $4.25 billion goal a year early

<p>UNC Vice Chancellor for Development David Routh speaks at the Campaign For Carolina launch event on Oct. 6, 2017. Photo courtesy of Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill.</p>
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UNC Vice Chancellor for Development David Routh speaks at the Campaign For Carolina launch event on Oct. 6, 2017. Photo courtesy of Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill.

In 2017, Campaign for Carolina set a goal of raising $4.25 billion by Dec. 31, 2022

In 2021, the campaign was 87 percent of the way there — and way ahead of schedule.

Almost a year early, UNC has announced that the campaign has reached the $4.25 billion goal, which will go toward scholarships, medical advancements, fellowship programs and infrastructure improvements, according to a UNC announcement Thursday. 

Not all of the money will be available right away. The total amount includes money that donors have pledged to pay over time. 

One major aspect of the campaign is the support it will offer for various scholarship programs associated with the school, the announcement said. 

Blue Sky Scholars is a scholarship program that specifically targets middle-income families, who often struggle with the financial burden of sending multiple students to college. 

This $20 million initiative is a beneficiary of the Campaign for Carolina, sparked by a $5 million gift from Erskine Bowles, UNC System president emeritus and alumnus.

Another scholarship fund that benefits from the Campaign for Carolina is the Steve and Debbie Vetter Military Family Scholars program. This program is powered by the Red, White and Blue Challenge, established by the Vetters for the need-based scholarship fund that focuses on students from military families. 

Rachelle Feldman, vice provost for enrollment, said in a statement that scholarship programs and the campaigns that fund them are what makes UNC unique.

“Initiatives such as the Carolina Covenant, the Blue Sky Scholars and the Red, White and Carolina Blue Scholars set our university apart and we’re grateful for the philanthropy that makes these programs possible,” Feldman said.

The campaign’s success was made possible by over 200,000 donors, a group made up of individuals, corporations and foundations, according to UNC Media Relations. 

83 percent of those donors made contributions of $1000 or less, Media Relations said, and 90,000 of them were first-time donors.

Vice Chancellor for Development David Routh said that they are especially grateful for the young donors who made first-time contributions. 

“We are proud of every gift made to this campaign, and we are particularly proud of young people who decided to give for the first time and begin a giving pattern at Carolina,” he said.

Despite hitting this milestone, the University still sees room for the campaign to grow.  

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz acknowledged how far this campaign has evolved but said there are still active goals left to accomplish. 

“We’re humbled and incredibly thankful for all the generous donors and volunteers who’ve brought us to this point and believe in Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good," Guskiewicz said in the announcement. "At the same time, we know goals remain if we’re to deliver a complete campaign on behalf of our students, our faculty and the people we serve in North Carolina and beyond.” 

The Campaign for Carolina will continue out its time as planned — until the end of December 2022. 

During that time, Routh said that the campaign will be focused on reaching the goal of $1 billion for student support,  $810 million of which has already been raised.

“There are many donors who are raising their hands right now who want to be a part of this success story for Carolina," Routh said. "The campaign is accelerating, and we have work to do, but we feel really great that it will be accomplished."

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