September 22, 2015

$1 Billion Campaign for UAB surpasses $600 million mark

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obelisk 2The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Campaign for UAB: Give Something, Change Everything has surpassed $600 million toward its $1 billion goal in the university’s largest-ever and most comprehensive philanthropic campaign.

After a silent phase, the Campaign launched publicly in October 2013. Overall, 83,554 donors have invested $617,059,924 in programs and projects ranging from academic scholarships benefiting 5,700 students and 46 new endowed faculty positions, to $121 million in research support and $27 million for facility enhancements. The Campaign total includes commitments as large as the $25 million naming gift for the Collat School of Business and contributions made to crowdfunding projects, many of which are less than $20.

“Every gift advances UAB’s mission to be a research university and academic health center that discovers, teaches and applies knowledge for the intellectual, cultural, social and economic benefit of Birmingham, the state and beyond,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “It is especially exciting to see how many donors — alumni, grateful patients, friends, foundations and corporations — have chosen to partner with us as we strive to be a first choice for education and health care and to make a powerful impact on economic development for our city, state and region.”

The Campaign for UAB total includes several high-impact gifts:

  • $7 million from The Hugh Kaul Foundation to establish the Hugh Kaul Personalized Medicine Institute at UAB. Personalized medicine is a practice of medicine that uses an individual’s genetic profile to guide decisions for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. The Institute will pave the way for growth and acceleration of personalized medicine in Alabama and beyond.
  • $5 million from the Joy and Bill Harbert Foundation to name the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE). This transformational funding not only honors an admired Birmingham businessman, but also supports the construction of UAB’s new building to house the Harbert IIE and Collat School of Business.
  • $2.65 million to support UABTeach, an innovative program designed to quickly produce highly qualified instructors in science, technology, engineering and math. Multiple funding partners are supporting UABTeach, including $1 million from The Max and Lorayne Cooper Foundation, $1 million from The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, and significant gifts from The Mike and Gillian Goodrich Charitable Foundation and The Belk Foundation.
  • $28.9 million for UAB Athletics, including $17.2 million in public and private (philanthropic) pledges to support the reinstatement of football, bowling and rifle.
  • $1.5 million from BBVA Compass for a new soccer facility. BBVA Compass Field will seat about 2,500 for UAB men’s and women’s soccer home games, showcasing one of the most popular sports in the world and contributing to the continued revitalization of Birmingham as a destination city.
  • $1 million from Medical Properties Trust to support the Collat School of Business/IIE building.
The Campaign has also received significant gifts in honor of those who have enjoyed rewarding careers at UAB. The Finley family — Sara J. Finley of Nashville, her brother, Dr. Randall W. Finley of Birmingham, and her father, Dr. Wayne H. Finley, also of Birmingham — gave $3.2 million to honor the careers of Dr. Wayne H. Finley and his wife, the late Dr. Sara Crews Finley, pioneers in the field of genetics and beloved members of the UAB faculty. The Sara Crews Finley, M.D., Leadership Scholarship recognizes a top student in the School of Medicine with a full-tuition scholarship for the final two years of medical school. The Reynolds Historical Library and Reynolds Historical Lectureship were renamed the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library and the Reynolds-Finley Historical Lectureship, respectively, in honor of Dr. Wayne H. Finley, a noted medical historian.

UAB’s Annual Giving program — spendable gifts from alumni and friends in response to phone, email or direct mail appeals — surpassed $1 million for the first time over the 2014-2015 academic year. Two-thirds of the 5,034 Annual Giving donors made their gifts in response to a phone call from a UAB student, and nearly 1,200 of those donors made their first gifts ever to UAB.

In November, UAB launched a crowdfunding platform as a tool for faculty, staff and students to seek grassroots support for special projects. Since its launch, nine projects have been successfully funded, ranging from the student-run Equal Access Birmingham Clinic for homeless people to a camp for children with neuromuscular disorders to providing naxolone kits to help prevent deaths from drug overdoses. Of 667 gifts given to date through UAB Crowdfunding, 315 gifts were made by first-time donors to UAB.

“We are deeply grateful to every donor who has contributed to this Campaign, as well as to our volunteer leadership,” said Senior Vice President Shirley Salloway Kahn. “Passing the $600 million mark reminds us that UAB touches every corner of our community — through education, student life, patient care, service and innovation that strengthens our economy.

“Through this Campaign, our donors are making a tremendous impact on UAB, Birmingham and beyond.”

The Campaign for UAB entered its public phase in October 2013 and will continue through 2018.