‘HERE, WE GO’
THE FINISH LINE
After Meeting Its
$1B Goal Early,
the Campaign’s Still
The University of Houston is just months away from the conclusion of its $1 billion capital campaign in August 2020. But the University actually reached its fundraising goal 18 months ahead of schedule, in February 2019, and has been moving beyond the billion with wide support from both the community and the alumni base.
To date, the “Here, We Go” campaign has raised $1,196,660,053 to create impact in strategic areas that will shape the future growth of the University. And, perhaps even more impressive, that amazing total has come from an equally amazing multitude of donors — 184, 257 to be exact.
That has been a clear reflection of the popular appeal of the campaign.
“The community, our donors and alumni have shown their willingness to galvanize behind this initiative,” said Eloise Brice, vice chancellor and vice president for university advancement. “Once we reached our fundraising goal, we knew that we had to continue and create new opportunities to educate our students and to attract and retain the best faculty in order to respond to today’s complex challenges.”
Since its founding, the University’s mission has been to ensure general access to a world-class education, ensuring that its students are given every opportunity to succeed in and out of the classroom. To this end, student success has been the University’s number one priority and serves as the leading pillar of the campaign — scholarships. So far, more than $200 million has been raised for scholarships since the start of the campaign. With more than two-thirds of UH undergraduate students, many who are first generation, receiving some form of financial assistance, the University continues to leverage scholarships as a method to recruit and retain high-performing students.
But the academic commitment from the campaign certainly doesn’t stop there.
Last August, the University launched Aspire Fund: The $50 Million Challenge, to strategically advance its academic enterprise. Funded by an anonymous donor, the Aspire Fund is a matching gift opportunity intended to inspire the local, national and global communities to step forward as agents of transformation for UH. Gifts, combined with a one-to-one match from the anonymous donor, will enable the University to attract top talent through new endowed chairs and professorships within four new interdisciplinary institutes. The institutes will focus on signature areas of societal impact, preparing students to engage on a global level.
- Aspire Institute for Sustainable Energy and Energy Security
- Aspire Institute for Health Care and Innovation
- Aspire Institute for Resilient Infrastructure and Smart Cities
- Aspire Institute for Global Engagement
The Aspire Fund will play a crucial role as the University pursues its aggressive research and scholarship agenda.
Throughout the campaign, there has been a concentrated commitment to make UH a stronger, nationally competitive institution, and a vital part of that comes in the addition of top-flight facilities on campus. The Fertitta Center, Insperity Center and the Durga D. and Sushila Agrawal Engineering Research Building are prime examples of the major capital projects that have enhanced resources and the campus environment during the campaign. Most recently, the UH Law Center achieved its fundraising goal to allow construction of a new law building. In recognition for the significant gift from the John M. O’Quinn Foundation, the new $90 million facility will be named The John M. O’Quinn Law Building. With the groundbreaking scheduled for May 2020, the new Law Center building will usher in a new era in 21st century legal education, providing both students and faculty with modern resources and space for creative collaboration. The University will celebrate another noteworthy achievement when it breaks ground later this spring for the new $80 million College of Medicine building.
Since the campaign’s inception, it has focused on enhancing those programs that play a fundamental role in the city of Houston’s success. One notable example of that has been the revitalization of the Public Art of the UH System (PAUHS), which features nearly 700 works from internationally renowned artists. The program celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019 and, as part of the campaign-driven efforts to raise its profile, launched the Temporary Public Art Program (TPAP). Extending from UH’s Wilhelmina’s Grove, TPAP is now an active platform for temporary art installations, short-term exhibitions and community-wide outreach. With an ever-expanding program, PAUHS is designing activities that allow artists to interact with students, and for students to acquire hands-on skills through direct interaction with the artists. In this way, art can establish more meaningful connections and establish a continuing relationship with the community.
The momentum that has followed the “Here, We Go” campaign has helped to benefit an ever-widening array of people and programs all across the University. Even though the campaign will officially be over in a matter of months, its profound impact will continue to be felt much, much longer.
To learn more about the “Here, You Go” campaign, please visit herewego.uh.edu.