UT Martin to receive $43M 'Campaign' funds
Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 11:28 am
The Messenger 01.27.10
The University of Tennessee at Martin campaign steering committee will present a $43 million check to Chancellor Tom Rakes at a Skyhawk men’s basketball game Saturday.
The check represents the amount raised by UT Martin as part of the University of Tennessee’s Campaign for Tennessee, officially launched in April 2008.
UT Martin was the first UT System campus to meet its campaign goal — first $25 million and then the $40 million mark. The campus also achieved 54 percent participation in its Family Campaign, doubling the percentage of faculty/staff participation. The family campaign included current, former and retired UT Martin employees.
“I am proud of the UT Martin campus and community for reaching their campaign goal so quickly and for the dedication and commitment demonstrated by alumni, friends, faculty, staff and former employees,” Interim UT President Jan Simek said. “UT Martin is a special place, and it provides a great educational experience for students and a very valuable resource for research and economic development in West Tennessee. That is reflected in the fact everyone at UT Martin continues working on the Campaign even after exceeding the campus’ goal.”
“UT Martin has a number of exciting priorities that The Campaign for Tennessee will make realities,” Rakes said.
Areas of emphasis include student aid, faculty retention and development, international initiatives, an honors-enrichment fund and increased research opportunities, all of which are critical to attracting and retaining top students and faculty to UT Martin. Specific goals also include expanding internship, leadership, digital literacy and service-learning opportunities.
“Known for real-world, experiential learning, UT Martin is taking its outstanding academic and athletic programs to new levels of distinction and national prominence,” he continued. “Increased emphasis is being placed on student access and success through off-campus centers, global studies opportunities and evolving online learning offerings.
“The university is collaborating with community, business and industry leaders to provide ‘capacity-building’ growth opportunities in areas such as agriculture, biofuels, health care, education, technology and the arts,” Rakes said.
Len Solomons, UT Mar-tin vice chancellor for university advancement, said the ultimate success of the effort is the result of generosity and involvement of many alumni and friends throughout the region.
“This campaign is the most ambitious fund-raising effort in UT and UT Martin’s history, and there are still many needs to be met before the campaign officially concludes in 2011. Unrestricted annual support is increasingly important as state support for higher education continues to decline,” Solomons said.
He commended members of the UT Martin campaign steering committee. They nclude J. Houston Gordon and Jim Ayers, honorary chairs; Dr. Lew Dougherty and Ray Smith, co-chairs; Bill Blankenship, Crawford Gallimore, Charlie Moore, Dr. Ron Kirkland, Dr. Margaret Perry, Newell and Bettie Graham; and Family Campaign co-chairs Betty Smith, Bettye Giles, Dr. Jerald Ogg and Charley Deal.