April 3, 2019

UNH pushes through $100M centennial fundraising goal

PHOTO | New Haven Biz
PHOTO | New Haven Biz

The University of New Haven has announced that its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign has surpassed its original goal of $100 million.

The ambitious nine-figure target, established in anticipation of the West Haven school's centennial celebration in 2020, was surpassed almost a year before the official start of its 100th year.

Since the "Charger Challenge" was publicly launched in 2016, more than 15,000 donors have contributed to the effort, according to UNH. That largess includes 80 gifts of $100,000 or more and 20 gifts of at least $1 million.

"This is momentous for the university," said UNH President Steven H. Kaplan in a statement. "As we prepare to begin a year-long celebration of our first 100 years, we are proud to announce an unprecedented level of support for our future."

"Our founders would take great pride in seeing the dedication that today's donors have to our mission," Kaplan added. "We are indebted to all of our alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends who are ensuring our next century of success and achievement."

As a result of the campaign's success to date, Kaplan said the goal for the centennial fundraising effort has been increased to $120 million by 2020, and will focus on attracting additional resources for athletics and UNH's new School of Health Sciences.

The Charger Challenge seeks to provide new support for educational opportunities that foster innovation, creativity, and social impact, while also enriching learning and co-curricular opportunities for students.

At the center of the fundraising effort is UNH's new Bergami Center for Science, Technology & Innovation, a state-of-the-art, 44,000-square-foot academic facility scheduled to open early next year. The school's first new academic building in more than 40 years, the Bergami Center will house engineering and science labs, state-of-the-art collaborative classrooms and video production studios.

A central feature of the building will be its "maker space," where students will have the opportunity to explore interdisciplinary collaborative projects. More than one-third of the building's square footage will be "open space" intended to foster creative idea exchange and teamwork. Instead of traditional faculty offices, it will feature co-working spaces and areas that encourage and support the exchange of ideas between students and faculty.

In addition, the Charger Challenge has sought to substantially increase the number of endowed scholarships and amount of financial aid available to students. Since the launch of the campaign, 90 new endowed scholarships have been created.

Contact Michael C. Bingham at mbingham@newhavenbiz.com

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