UVa-Wise announces $50 million capital campaign goal


UVa-Wise announces $50 million capital campaign goal

The University of Virginia’s College at  Wise officially launched its most ambitious fund-raising effort on Saturday,  Oct. 21, with the kickoff of the $50 million   “Fulfilling the Dream” capital campaign.

The campaign goal is more than double the $21 million the College raised during the College’s first campaign, which ended Dec. 31, 2000. The UVa-Wise campaign will be part of the University of Virginia’s $3 billion capital campaign that will conclude in 2011.

The “Fulfilling the Dream” campaign is guided by a 13-member Campaign Cabinet. The group is chaired by long-time supporters alumna Marcia Adams Gilliam ’82 of Abingdon and Hunter J. Smith of Charlottesville.

Gilliam, a first generation college graduate who now serves as president of CSE Financial Services, Inc., told the audience of 200 friends her personal dream began when she enrolled at what was then Clinch Valley College. “I do not believe that the founding fathers of the College could have envisioned the economic impact of the College on the region,” Gilliam said. “However, 50-plus years later, we recognize the impact of our College and can only dream of the future impact it will have.”

Along with her late husband Carl W. Smith, Mrs. Hunter J. Smith has been committed to the College almost since its founding. “The campaign will touch every phase of college life and truly make a difference in the lives of our students,” Mrs. Smith said.

The kickoff event included remarks by University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III, and Gordon F. Rainey, Jr., who chairs the University’s campaign.

“‘Fulfilling the Dream’ – what an appropriate theme for this campaign when one considers where this all began and the positive impact that success in this campaign will have on every aspect of student life at the College and the difference it will make in the lives of generations of students to come,” Rainey said. “Before this College was founded, there were no public colleges in Virginia west of Radford. Higher education was simply out of reach for many young people in this region. What we see around us at the College today is a remarkable example of the determination, perseverance and will of the people of this region.”

“Coming out here this afternoon, I was thinking how appropriate it is that one of America’s premiere public universities has as its sister institution one of America’s premiere public liberal arts colleges,” Rainey said. “You should be enormously proud of what has been accomplished.”

President Casteen said the College is “on the cusp of yet another remarkable tansition.” “(The ‘Fulfilling the Dream’ campaign) is a tremendous opportunity,” Casteen said. “This is a chance to shape something that will endure.”

The story of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise has always been one of dreams . . . and of people who have joined together to make their dreams a reality. What began one cold, snowy night in 1953 was a modest dream: to bring the opportunity for higher education to the children of the coalfields. In the half-century since, UVa-Wise has become a worthy expression of Thomas Jefferson’s dream for his “academical village” in Charlottesville, that the youth of the Commonwealth would enjoy educational opportunities, which are second to none.

“Our challenge is to dream as big as our founders did and to develop a college that continues to be worthy of the aspirations our students and their families have for themselves, our region and the Commonwealth,” said UVa-Wise Chancellor David J. Prior. “This campaign will enable us to provide the extra measure of excellence our students deserve.”

The $50 million campaign total is divided into nine categories, which have been identified as critical to the continued growth of UVa-Wise.

Fulfilling the Dream . . . for Scholarships - $10 million
The College’s scholarship endowment provides $1.1 million annually to deserving students. As a result, students at UVa-Wise graduate with the lowest debt of any liberal arts college in the nation despite the fact 80 percent of the College’s students demonstrate financial need. As the student body continues to grow, so will the need for scholarship support.

Fulfilling the Dream . . . for Professorships - $3 million
At present, four endowed professorships have been established and three others are partially funded. Endowed professorships are the most prized accolade in the academic world and will help UVa-Wise attract and retain top faculty.

Fulfilling the Dream . . . for the Enhancement of Academic Programs - $4 million
Student research projects, foreign study opportunities, lab supplies, high tech equipment, and internships will be funded through this effort.

Fulfilling the Dream . . . for Athletics - $8 million
UVa-Wise competes against colleges offering three times the level of support for athletic programs. No state funds may be used to support athletics so private fundraising is essential to “level the playing field.”

Fulfilling the Dream . . . for a Dining Commons - $8 million
The current dining facility located in Cantrell Hall was built when the College housed 262 students. With nearly 700 students now living on campus, the existing facility has exceeded capacity. The Commonwealth does not allow state funds to be used for the construction of dining facilities.

Fulfilling the Dream . . . for a Residence Hall - $2 million
With a new residence hall projected to cost $10 million, $2 million in private support will greatly reduce the bond cost to students. The Commonwealth does not allow state funds to be used for the construction of residence halls.

Fulfilling the Dream . . . for a Recreation Center and Gymnasium - $10 million
Built in 1961 when the student body numbered in the hundreds, Fred B. Greear Gymnasium is perhaps the most heavily used building on campus. With a total enrollment of 2,000 students, the gym is often used for intramural play until after midnight.

Fulfilling the Dream . . . for a Center for the Arts - $4 million
The new fine arts center will bring art, music and drama under one roof for the first time in the College’s history. With an anonymous $4 million gift already in hand, construction of the facility will begin early next year.

Fulfilling the Dream . . . for New Initiatives & Great Ideas - $1 million
Each year brings new and exciting ideas which could be implemented with available funding.

The “Fulfilling the Dream” campaign began quietly on July 1, 2004 and has already amassed $23.5 million in commitments.

The remaining members of the Campaign Cabinet include: Ernest H. Ern of Charlottesville; James M. Gott ’72 of Kingsport, Tenn.; Don M. Green ’61 of Wise; Charlie R. Jessee ’62 of Abingdon; John K. Matney of Bristol; Michael G. McGlothlin of Grundy; Don R. Pippin ’58 of Norton; Ben F. Sergent III of Jonesville; William J. Sturgill ’56 of Norton; J. Michael Thomas of Gate City; and Jerry W. Wharton of Wise.

Honorary Campaign Cabinet members are Kenneth P. Asbury of Wise; Martha A. and James W. Holyfield of Denver, Colo.; Harold C. Jackson of Pound; Chancellor Emeritus Joseph C. Smiddy of Wise; and Helen J. Sutherland of Pound.

For more information, contact the Office of College Relations at 276-328-0130.