An Extraordinary Start

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The goal of the Commit to Georgia Campaign is to raise $1.2 billion by 2020 to increase scholarship support, to enhance the learning environment, and to solve the grand challenges facing society.

The public phase of the Commit to Georgia Campaign is off to an extraordinary start with a record $227.8 million in new gifts and pledges from our deeply committed donors in fiscal year 2017.

As the University’s official announcement notes, this unprecedented total represents a 24 percent increase over last year’s record of $183.8 million. It also nearly doubles the $117.2 million raised in fiscal year 2013, the year before President Morehead took office.

These figures are remarkably impressive, but the Commit to Georgia Campaign is ultimately about people. Specifically, it aims increase scholarship support for students, enhance the learning environment at UGA, and solve grand challenges for Georgia and the world. Progress is being made on each of these priorities thanks to the generosity of the more than 126,000 donors who contributed to the Commit to Georgia Campaign since the quiet phase began in July 2012.

Nearly 5,300 student scholarships funded by private support were awarded in FY17, and 115 Georgia Commitment Scholarships have been created since the program launched in January. Through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program, the UGA Foundation will match any gift in the amount of $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000 to establish an endowed undergraduate need-based scholarship. Fifteen UGA Foundation Trustees, who represent more than 30 percent of the Board of Trustees, have established at least one of these scholarships.

The learning environment at UGA also is benefiting from the unwavering commitment of UGA’s donors. More than $7 million has been raised to support experiential learning opportunities for students since the launch of the campaign, and donors helped establish 10 new endowed faculty positions this year. The University now has 275 endowed faculty positions, which play a key role in attracting and retaining professors who are at the forefront of research and instruction.

Fiscal year 2017 marked the fourth consecutive year that UGA donors set a fundraising record. Notably, it is the first time that the annual total has surpassed $200 million. This tremendous accomplishment is testament to the commitment of our donors, and it bodes well for the future of America’s first state-chartered university.