celebrated the end of a seven-year-long fundraising event Friday night with an announcement from University President Stan Albrecht: The campaign raised $512,861,412.
When the campaign was announced to the public in 2007, the goal presented was $200 million dollars.
Tim Vitale, director of Public Relations and Marketing, said reaching even that goal was uncertain in the beginning since this was USU’s
first campaign of this kind. Consultants said to start with a more attainable goal.
“Consultants didn’t think that we were ready for a $100 million dollar campaign and the president said ‘We’re going to do that,’” Vitale said. “He said $200 million and we hit that goal a year later, and the president said we’re doubling the goal to $400 million.”
Vitale said when the announcement was made that the president was doubling the original goal in the middle of an economic downturn, he joked it was probably the worst move he could have possibly made. But alumni, friends, donors and foundations came through and the larger goal was exceeded.
Kent Clark, the former social vice-president of development, was heavily involved in the campaign for the first five years and said he was amazed when the president announced such a spectacular goal.
“When we went public, we had raised a little over one $100 million dollars against a $200 million dollar goal. That’s about what you’d expect when you go public with a campaign. You expect to take three or four more years to finish that goal,” he said. “Astonishing.”
The campaign’s slogan, “Honoring Tradition, Securing Our Future,” exemplified what Ross Peterson, the former vice president for advancement, said: the administration’s focus has been on how this campaign will affect students now and in coming years. Peterson was brought back to USU
by President Albrecht specifically to help with the campaign.
“The one thing we wanted to emphasize a lot was about students and things that you could do that would benefit students,” Peterson said.
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