Without her experience at the University more than 40 years ago,
Carole Simpson, a senior correspondent at ABC News, said she would
not be the person she is today.

Simpson, the only black journalism graduate out of 60 in the
class of 1962, was the master of ceremonies at the kickoff
celebration for the University’s latest fundraising campaign, The
Michigan Difference.

The “difference” that the University made in Simpson’s life is
what President Mary Sue Coleman said she hopes will continue with
the $2.5 billion this “historic campaign” aims to raise. This goal
was announced at Friday’s kickoff ceremony.

“We are a University with remarkable forward-thinking,” Coleman
said. “What we do with this campaign will resonate for
decades.”

In the quiet phase of the campaign, the University has already
raised $1.28 billion, or 51 percent of its goal since 2000. The
campaign will end on December 31, 2008.

The last fundraising campaign, called the Billion Dollar
Campaign for Michigan, which ran from 1991 to 1997, raised $1.4
billion. As its name suggests, the campaign’s goal was $1
billion.

A “critical part” of the campaign is to raise a significant
amount of money for scholarship support, said Provost Paul Courant.
The campaign aims to raise $400 million for student scholarships
and fellowships.

“We are guaranteeing students opportunity unlike anything else
in the world,” he said.

Two of the donors providing this opportunity are Richard and
Susan Rogel. The Rogels gave $22 million that goes toward financial
aid for undergraduate, non-resident students.

“We wanted to meet the unmet needs of the out-of-state student,”
campaign Co-Chair Richard Rogel said.

The “difference” that the University made to Rogel’s life is one
reason he donates both his energy and money to this campaign.

“I feel I can never repay the gift (the University) gave to me,”
he said.

And while some donate their money, others, like Simpson, give
themselves and their time.

“I don’t have $30 million, but I have me,” said Simpson, who
delayed foot surgery to host the event. “I bequeath me to you,
Michigan.”

The campaign also intends to raise $425 million for faculty
support, $625 million for programs and research, $500 million for
facilities and $150 million for labs, infrastructure and
discretionary support.

The presentation was the focal point of the four-day kickoff
weekend. Other events of the weekend include the grand opening
convocation of the Life Sciences Institute and tours and lectures
highlighting the University atmosphere.

 

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