IOWA CITY - University of Iowa leaders on Thursday kicked off the final phase of a fundraising drive that they hope will generate $1.7 billion to support scholarships, buildings and research while ensuring its future as a vibrant public university.
During a carefully orchestrated announcement on campus and online, university officials said that they have raised more than $1 billion since 2008 and unveiled a new goal of raising an additional $700 million by December 2016.
"This is a history-making day," university president Sally Mason told reporters after the event in the historic Old Capitol building. "We obviously have confidence that we can raise this amount of money or we wouldn't be doing this. But we need to get our donors, our alumni and our friends mobilized, energized and on board with this. This weekend is the beginning of that mobilization period."
The university's nonprofit fundraising arm, the UI Foundation, said the "For Iowa. Forever More" campaign would be the largest fundraising effort in state history and among the most ambitious nationally to support a public university of its size.