Celebrate Arizona NOW's Impact
UA donors, students, alumni and friends are invited to a special event showcasing the Wildcat spirit and Arizona NOW's impact on students, faculty and communities. President Ann Weaver Hart will make an announcement on the campaign’s progress at the free Wildcat Spirit Expo.
For questions or to RSVP: UAFrsvp@uafoundation.org
In the past year, 60,000 gifts to causes including student aid, faculty support, research and campus improvements brought Arizona NOW, the Campaign for the University of Arizona, within a few percentage points of its $1.5 billion goal.
Fiscal year 2016 was the third consecutive year in which gifts and commitments to the UA totaled more than $200 million. As of June 30, $1.46 billion, or 97 percent, of the $1.5 billion goal had been raised.
Arizona NOW, the most ambitious and comprehensive fundraising campaign in UA history, was planned as an eight-year effort beginning in 2010. UA officials now anticipate achieving this historic milestone nearly two years ahead of schedule.
"This year, UA supporters once again demonstrated incredible generosity and commitment to helping the University achieve its mission," said John-Paul Roczniak, who is vice president of development and chief development officer for the UA and president and CEO of the UA Foundation.
"Our fourth-highest fundraising year ever continued the outpouring of support, changing countless lives and putting us on track to reach goal in just six years."
Giving to student financial aid increased in 2016. Leveraging philanthropy to provide more student support is a cornerstone of the vision for Arizona NOW, Roczniak said.
Recognizing that students' tuition and living costs are rising, Bob and Esther Berger chose this year to increase the award amount of the Brenna Ilana Berger Memorial Scholarship their family established in 2013. In honor of the Bergers' UA alumna daughter, two communications students receive the scholarship each academic year to help them surmount obstacles in finishing their education.
When recipient Cicely White-Lee was selected, she was mourning her son Kemaury's death and was one year away from keeping the promise she had made to him to finish her degree.
Kemaury required a high level of care throughout his 19 years of life because of a congenital heart condition. For this reason and others, White-Lee had traveled a difficult path to graduation. With the Bergers' help, she earned her UA diploma in May.
"The scholarship was a complete blessing that really helped me push through the last year," White-Lee said.
The Bergers believe that funding the Brenna Ilana Berger Memorial Scholarship is a powerful way to impact UA students — and a fitting tribute to their daughter.
"It's what Brenna wanted in her life. She was a school counselor, and she helped as many people as she could," Bob Berger said.
In addition to the increase in student support, donations to endowed funds, which benefit the University in perpetuity, rose in 2016. The payout from an endowment fulfills a donor's wishes to support students, faculty or programs year after year. Growing the total amount invested in endowments is important for the UA's financial future, Roczniak said.
"Endowed gifts ensure the innovation, academic excellence and educational access that make the UA such a special place will continue in the coming generations," he said.