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University Launches Momentum2 Campaign; School of Business to Fund Expansion of Programs, Student and Faculty Support, and Facility Enhancements

February 17, 2012
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The University of Miami has announced Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami, which will raise a towering $1.6 billion by the year 2016, transforming the face of a still-young institution yet again with new buildings and labs to prepare tomorrow’s medical and scientific masterminds, scholarships for students who might not otherwise be able to attend college, and a brand-new group of talented and ambitious researchers and scholars with the knowledge to not only study global problems, but also solve them.

The campaign, which celebrated its public launch on February 16 at BankUnited Center during a ceremony attended by several hundred donors, trustees, and top UM administrators, is off to a breakneck start, with $906 million already raised.

Jayne and Leonard Abbess, co-chairs of Momentum2 campaign, addressed several hundred donors at the event.

“Few top-rated universities continuously move up,” said Leonard Abess, chair of UM’s Board of Trustees and co-chair, with his wife Jayne, of Momentum2. “Some universities stall, but we keep getting better. The success of this campaign so far is due to very focused leadership and relentless work by a huge team of people who share a common vision about this institution we love.”

Through Momentum2, the School of Business Administration plans to expand international learning opportunities and programs, provide experiential learning activities that engage students in business and community organizations, and build distinctive programs in health care, real estate, and entrepreneurship.

The School’s goals include support for exceptional students at all levels, as well as endowed chairs and visiting professorships to bring outstanding faculty from around the world to the School.

The School also hopes to develop new facilities that will provide the right space to support its strategy and keep pace with distinguished peer institutions. Inquiries are welcomed regarding potential naming opportunities related to centers, programs, and the school itself.

Momentum2 comes on the heels of the University’s first billion-dollar fundraising effort, Momentum: The Campaign of the University of Miami, which surpassed its goal a year and a half ahead of schedule, prompting UM officials to raise the goal by an additional $250 million. By the time the campaign wrapped up in 2007, a staggering $1.4 billion had been raised.

The achievement marked a milestone in U.S. higher education: the first time that a private university established in the 20th century reached a ten-digit fundraising goal.


Similarly to the first campaign, Momentum2 is being launched amid the excitement of a major gift: $100 million from the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation—funds that will support research and inevitably bring the world closer to a cure for a disease that afflicts more than 25 million people in this country. Other gifts of $5 million and above, made during Momentum2’s silent phase, which began four years ago, have helped UM move ever closer to its magic number.

“Our donors from the community, including alumni, trustees, parents, and members of the community, have supported us in record numbers already in this campaign,” said President Donna E. Shalala. “They invested in us, and we made sound decisions, recruiting top faculty, top students, and moving up in the rankings. This campaign will firmly establish us as the next great American university.”

Enriching the student experience, funding scholarships and research programs, and recruiting more world-class faculty members and scholars are the major goals of Momentum2. The campaign also will support programs that benefit the community, allowing the University to partner with organizations and enhance the well-being of citizens, be it in education, health care, or economic stability.

“In line with our strategic institutional goals, we are building a world-class faculty in world-class facilities that educate a generation of world-class students,” said Tom LeBlanc, executive vice president and provost. “And through this work, we are making major contributions to our community.”

The campaign comes as UM continues to ride a crest of major achievements during the past year. In 2011, UM continued its ascent in U.S.News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings, climbing to No. 38 (up from 47 the previous year). The new rank represented a rise of 29 slots over the last ten years, making UM the fastest-rising institution among national universities.

Worth magazine recently named the University the most fiscally responsible nonprofit organization in the nation, and for the eleventh year in a row, UM received Charity Navigator’s four-star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Gift announcements and updates may be found online throughout the campaign by visiting www.miami.edu/momentum2. Throughout the campaign, social media users are urged to engage by using “#Give2theU”.

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