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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA Foundation almost at its $1.5 billion goal

The University of Arizona Foundation’s goal to reach $1.5 billion is expected to be met early, as the campaign has already raised more than $1.3 billion.

According to its website, the UA Foundation’s mission is to “[advance] the [UA] by building relationships, securing philanthropic support and stewarding assets.”

Phil Schlesinger, assistant vice president of the UA Foundation’s Office of Communications and Marketing, said there are three primary areas that the foundation focuses on when fundraising.

Schlesinger said the Foundation’s goals are to create more scholarships for students who want to attend the university, seek to improve the faculty and increase the amount of research done to keep the university’s image pristine.

“Our campaign has been very successful—we are ahead of schedule and we are so thankful for the recent donations we received with the support from the community,” Schlesinger said. “We are still in the process of moving forward, but we will continue the campaign because it’s the best way to keep the momentum going.”

JP Roczniak, interim president and chief executive officer, said that once this goal is met, it will be raised. The UA Foundation will focus on specific programs, initiatives and continue to campaign the university.

Roczniak is temporarily filling the position of interim president as the Foundation is in the process of looking for another. The last president resigned at the end of June due to receiving a job at the University of Illinois Foundation. Schlesinger said the position will be filled early next year, but that the process of finding the right leader is challenging.

“I haven’t applied for the job because the job description hasn’t been posted,” Roczniak said. “A search committee does a national search to find the best leaders for this position.”

Some of the gifts given to the UA Foundation come with a few extra stipulations.

The Agnese Nelms Haury Estate gave a $50 million commitment to focus on advancing social justice and improving the environment throughout the southwest. The foundation is managing the gift with the organization and students will start to see an increase of social justice and environmental awareness throughout campus and the Tucson community. Together, the gift will make a bigger impact. They have just completed their first year with grants received in December and spring.

With the help of the foundation, UA SALT Center is being renovated. According to its website, SALT Center is designed to enhance services for students with learning and attention challenges. Schlesinger said SALT Center is unique to the UA and it is necessary to update the building with an increase in services. It will be available to all students seeking for extra help or who want to help others. The renovations will be complete within the upcoming month.

Follow Gabriella Vukelic on Twitter.

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