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The Daily Wildcat


Fundraising campaign kicks off at Spring Fling

Taisha Ford
Taisha Ford/The Daily Wildcat President Hart introduces the University Of Arizona Fundraising kickoff on April 11th, 2014.

Against the backdrop of the neon lights at Spring Fling on the UA Mall, the UA launched its largest-ever fundraising campaign on Friday evening.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart took the stage near Old Main to publicly reveal the campaign, called Arizona Now, coinciding with the kickoff of Spring Fling taking place on the opposite end of the Mall. The campaign aims to fundraise $1.5 billion for the UA within the next four years under the direction of the University of Arizona Foundation.

“This is part of our future and you are central to that future,” Hart said. “We believe that this campaign will have a huge impact not just at the university but throughout Arizona and the world as the university’s reach extends.”

The fundraising effort has already pulled in $859 million before the public announcement was made. Arizona Now is looking to support students, faculty, staff and research at the UA, Hart said.

“Let’s show the world what the Wildcat family is made of and let’s do it now,” Hart said.

The fundraising campaign is being co-chaired by Sarah Smallhouse and Jeff Stevens.

“[We] really look forward to playing a part in Arizona Now and the campaign that will support so many fabulous things that you see today on campus,” Smallhouse said.

A video accompanying the announcement, which focused on encouraging people to make contributions to the UA now, concluded as fireworks were shot off the top of the Henry Koffler building. Crowds who had gathered to listen to the announcement were then led down the Mall to Spring Fling.

In a statement on the Arizona Now campaign, Hart cited the need to fundraise to meet of the goals of the Never Settle strategic plan for the UA.

“We must now persevere in the hard work of implementing the Never Settle plan, and the Arizona Now campaign is building a foundation to meet that goal,” the statement read.

The UA is also facing less than expected funding from the state, with the state budget that was recently passed by the Arizona legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer.

The UA held a similar fundraising effort, which concluded in 2005, from the UA Foundation. The fundraising campaign, called Campaign Arizona, pulled in nearly $1.2 billion.

Hart called on supporters to help the UA reach its goal.

“We are more than halfway there, but the hard work is still ahead,” Hart said. “I know the Wildcat family will rise to the challenge.”

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