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University of Montana Foundation hits fundraising goal

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The University of Montana Foundation has announced that it’s reached the target for its seven-year fundraising campaign.

The “Campaign Montana — Think Big, Be Bold” initiative started in 2013, publicly launched in 2018, and is scheduled to run through 2020. It had a target goal of $400 million. But it announced Friday that the total amount raised has now reached $401.3 million.

“I am deeply grateful for the extraordinary generosity of our alumni and friends who have buoyed this institution with their engagement, insights and giving,” a press release quoted UM President Seth Bodnar as saying. “Their support of and steadfast belief in the University of Montana will continue to impact our campus community in immeasurable ways, and our students will benefit long into the future.”

The same press release stated that Campaign Montana donations have created 15 new endowed faculty positions, helped renovate or construct 10 facilities, and generated $115 million for scholarships and other student support. In just the past month, the campaign has brought in $1.25 million to support UM’s S.E.A. Change women’s equality initiative and renovate Jeannette Rankin Hall; $1 million to expand its Clinical Psychology Center; and $5 million to establish a permanent home for the Montana Museum of Art and Culture.

While the campaign’s $400 million target has been met, the Foundation isn’t ending early. It now aims to reach 110% of its goal, or $440 million. “There are several priorities we’re continuing to work on the end of Campaign Montana,” Cindy Williams, the Foundation’s president, told the Missoulian.

She identified student success through increased advising and mentorship, increased access to field coursework, internships and study abroad opportunities, and undergraduate scholarships as those main priorities. Williams also said that money raised through the end of this campaign would also go towards the museum building, psychology center expansion and Rankin Hall renovations, as well as to a new basketball center and furnishing the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education building.

The foundation expects to conclude the campaign in summer 2020, she said, but it has not specified an end date.

“We have a golden opportunity to redefine success,” said Mark Burnham, co-chair of the campaign’s public phase in the release, “but it will take each one of us grabbing the part of the dream that resonates with us personally and giving to make it a reality.”

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