Newswise — The University of Illinois at Chicago launched “IGNITE: The Campaign for UIC,” on Saturday, October 28. More than 700 friends, alumni and donors attended the kickoff rally and celebration to support the university’s strategic priorities and master plan.
“The IGNITE campaign will join us together in rallying around our priorities and purpose, and raising the funds it will take to achieve our ambitious plans and become the model for public higher education in the 21st century,” said UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis.
The goal of the campaign is to raise $750 million to benefit UIC. As of October 15, the University of Illinois Foundation has received commitments of more than $295 million in gifts, grants and pledges.
Through IGNITE, the university will raise funds to provide student scholarships, support new endowed faculty positions to retain and attract top scholars and researchers, equip faculty with the latest technologies for teaching and research, and build new facilities to improve the physical infrastructure of the campus to meet the growing needs of students and the community.
“With the help of philanthropy, we plan to build a Computing, Design, Research and Learning Center in Engineering; a Visual and Performing Arts Center in the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts; a new outpatient surgical care center for UI Health; and a new home for our College of Business,” said Amiridis.
The campaign, which will continue through 2022, will also fund research in key areas of excellence such as the human brain, social disparities, urban infrastructure, and functional and regenerative materials, and develop programs and partnerships to advance global health.
Recent gifts leading up to the launch of the campaign include $7.2 million from College of Nursing alumna M. Christine Schwartz to renovate student-centered spaces and create an advanced simulation learning center; $5 million from Herbert and Carol Retzky to create the first deanship at the UIC College of Pharmacy; $3 million from the Isadore and Sadie Dorin Foundation to establish an endowed scholarship fund for high achieving Cook County high school students and to rename the UIC Forum the Isadore and Sadie Dorin Forum; and $5 million from UIC alumnus and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Curtis Granderson to build the Curtis Granderson Stadium.
UIC is Chicago’s only public research university, with over 30,000 students, 15 colleges, a hospital and a health sciences system. The campaign “will ensure UIC is best positioned to meet the needs of a growing student population, drive life-changing discovery, and strengthen our connections to the communities we serve,” said Amiridis.
At the kickoff event, the university also announced the formation of a new UIC Alumni Association to connect and engage with its more than 250,000 alumni.