UF ‘Go Greater’ campaign exceeds $4.5B in contributions

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It’s the fifth largest sum ever raised at a public university.

With just two months remaining before its official conclusion, the University of Florida’s Go Greater campaign has far-exceeded its $3 billion goal, reaching more than $4.5 billion in contributions so far.

It’s the fifth largest sum ever raised at a public university, the largest ever in Florida, and tops fundraising among SEC schools, according to UF.

The raising will benefit students, medical patients, farmers, seniors, entrepreneurs, parents, consumers and first-generation college students, among others, according to UF. 

To date, more than 620,000 Gators have contributed to the school’s fourth fundraising campaign in its 169-year history.

Over the last 12 months, contributors have invested more than $700 million in UF projects and programs, with a new partnership with Scripps research pushing that total to $1 billion. 

The Go Greater campaign, launched in 2014, was one of the most ambitious campaigns ever at a public university. Funds raised support scholarships, student programs, professors and groundbreaking research, life-improving initiatives and campus infrastructure.

Throughout the life of the campaign, Go Greater has brought in nearly 1 million unique gifts. Meanwhile, UF’s annual alumni giving rate, which is a major factor in calculating school rankings overall, grew to 20%.

That’s led to nearly 200 new endowed faculty positions, 600 scholarships and 15 new teaching and learning centers. 

UF is now positioned to continue its growth in health care, energy and sustainability, climate change and biodiversity, the economy, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Combined, the efforts helped lead UF to an unprecedented rise in national rankings, from No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best public universities when Go Greater launched in 2014, to No. 5 now. 

“Years from now when people look back on this chapter in UF’s story, a highlight will be the Gator Nation’s extraordinary generosity and far-sightedness,” UF President Kent Fuchs said. “Alumni and friends from around the world came together like never before to support discoveries and innovations that will change the world, and to ensure that those educated on our campus will be the leaders of tomorrow.”

Notable gifts to the campaign include:

— The integration of Scripps Research’s Florida campus into UF Health, accelerating the pace of biomedical discoveries.

Al and Judy Warrington’s leadership gift in 2014 to kick off the Go Greater campaign. At the time, their pledge was the single largest gift in UF history.

Herbie and Nicole Wertheim’s investment in the College of Engineering to launch a $300 million initiative that is revolutionizing engineering education and research. Their gift was the catalyst for the largest expansion in the college’s 100-year history. In recognition, the college was renamed in Herbie Wertheim’s honor.

Chris and Melody Malachowsky’s pledge to make UF a global leader in artificial intelligence innovation and training. Their investment named the campus Data Science and Information Technology building and is helping to integrate AI into teaching and research across academic majors to solve society’s most formidable challenges.

Elisabeth DeLuca’s gift of 27,000 acres of pristine land in Osceola County is protecting one of the last natural areas of its kind and serves as a living classroom and laboratory. It is among the largest gifts of real estate ever to any university in the nation and includes cattle ranchlands, a citrus grove, ponds and forests.

Bill Heavener’s leadership gift for UF’s new $85 million football training center, named in his honor. The 142,000-square-foot center includes meeting rooms, a strength-and-conditioning center, a dining hall and recreation space for student-athletes.

“Make no mistake, lives and communities everywhere are improved because of the work done at the University of Florida. Much of that work is only possible because of the caring people who support our university’s bold mission,” said Anita Zucker, Chair of the UF Foundation’s executive board.

“It’s because of their generosity — so amazingly illustrated through this year’s record-breaking giving — that we know our university will forever be a beacon of hope for people around the world.”

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.



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