This weekend in Boise we celebrate a special milestone, the conclusion of the Inspiring Futures: Invest in the University of Idaho campaign. The donations from thousands of supporters — more than 45,000 — have made this campaign the largest fundraising effort in Idaho history. We have made a profound investment in the future — for students, for the discovery of knowledge, for the state of Idaho and for our world.
We set a goal of $225 million to support four critical areas: student success, faculty excellence, world-class learning environments and innovative programs. The generosity of donors has allowed us to greatly exceed that initial goal, ending the campaign at an amazing total of $261 million.
The campaign’s success results from the hard work of many committed individuals. Over seven-and-a-half years, dedicated men and women have tried to make a difference for Idaho’s leading national research university. We can be especially grateful for the work of campaign co-chairs Rich and Sharon Allen, and Jeff and Kristine Stoddard. These proud Vandals have offered leadership, perspective and inspiration, as well as financial contributions. In addition, countless Vandal staff members have gone above and beyond to communicate and execute the behind-the-scenes work of the campaign.
Of course, the lion’s share of the credit goes to the 45,000 individuals and the many corporate and nonprofit partners who seized the opportunity to invest in a better future. One by one, these generous donations have added up to a powerful statement of belief in the excellence of the University of Idaho, and of our role in shaping the future for our world.
I keep using the word “invest,” and for good reason. We know that education is the key to our future. More than ever, supporting student success, including through scholarship support, means unlocking possibilities for our graduates, the next generation of leaders, doers and dreamers. Over the course of the Inspiring Futures campaign, supporters have created 153 new student scholarship endowments.
Furthermore, investing in teaching and research is a benefit for students, science and industry. With the help of 20 new faculty endowments, supported by individuals as well as organizations such as the Micron Technology Foundation, we are poised to continue leading in one of our primary missions: the discovery and dissemination of knowledge.
Investing in our campus’ learning environments will also contribute to an inspired future at the University of Idaho. More than a dozen facilities are being renovated or newly constructed. Those investments complement the support of student experiences and programs that make a difference, from sustainable agriculture and natural resources to education and social sciences.
This weekend we can look back with pride on these accomplishments, and we extend another warm thank you to the many donors who have made it possible. We can also look to the future, as the return on our shared investment comes back to us multiplied many times. This campaign is a success story whose chapters will be written in the lives of students, in advances in knowledge, and in opportunities and possibilities that benefit us all.